If Wyoming’s energy industry is going to go down, it’s not going down without a fight, Gov. Mark Gordon said Tuesday.
In his “Address to the Legislature” on Tuesday, the Republican sounded concern over the future of Wyoming’s energy sector due to a seismic shift in national politics.
With the U.S. House, Senate, and executive branch all under Democratic control, those in the fossil fuel industry have been bracing for a hostile climate. But Gordon said the state will pursue every legal option to stand its ground and protect the industry to the best of its ability.
“There is good reason to be concerned that the actions of the next administration will further dampen the economic outlooks for energy and mining here in Wyoming,” Gordon said.
“The signals being sent during the transition period indicate that the substantial progress to reduce obstructionist, counter-productive regulation could be in peril,” he said.
Gordon said he hoped the incoming administration would value energy independence and realize that domestic production of energy is “central to our nation’s security.”
Although he praised the influence of Wyoming’s outsized delegation — leadership roles in both the House and the Senate — Gordon said he was ready for a fight to protect Wyoming’s interests.
“We will always defend our state and protect her interests through every legal, political, business, and technology option available to us,” he said.
It’s not a battle about a specific sector in the industry, he said. Instead,he described it as an issue of state’s rights, noting that Wyoming teamed up with Montana to sue the state of Washington for blocking Wyoming access to ports to export coal.
“We simply cannot have one state interfere with another’s access to markets by using the Clean Water Act as a weapon to pursue a misguided political agenda,” he said.
Gordon, a proponent of both fossil fuels and renewable energy, emphasized that both kinds of energy have a place in Wyoming’s future.
“Wyoming has responsibly led the way for a new energy horizon. One which values all sources of energy from nuclear, oil, gas, and coal to renewables like wind and solar,” he said.
In the end, however, Gordon said defending Wyoming’s energy interests are a top priority to protect the state’s future.
“We cannot and will not let the misguided actions of special interests and federal agencies rob our future,” he said.