Gordon, 16 Republican Governors Ask Biden to Withdraw Energy Moratorium

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Gov. Mark Gordon is leading a coalition of 17 Republican governors in formally asking President Joe Biden to withdraw the executive order banning new oil and gas development on federal lands.

In a letter sent to Biden, Gordon and his fellow governors stressed the negative economic effect of the ban on western states with large tracts of federal land.

The order has the effect of “chasing away capital investment for long-term economic growth and undermining public services, public conservation, public safety, public education, and more,” the governors said in the letter.

Biden issued an executive order in late January halting new oil and gas leasing on federal land to allow the Department of Interior time to conduct a comprehensive review of the federal leasing program and existing fossil fuel leases.

Some of the other governors included South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox.

Gordon also emphasized the importance of the high-paying jobs created by the energy industry, as well as the impact of the order on energy independence and grid stability.

The governors were unified in their support for an “all of the above energy approach” and said that “as governors, we believe that solutions come from innovation, not regulation,” stressing the importance of state primacy for emission standards.

“You began your presidency with calls for unity, specifically to end the divide that pits urban versus rural, and as Republican leaders, we stand ready to work with your Administration to advance our states and country,” the letter said. “In contrast, the lack of consultation with our states demonstrated by [the order] is alarming, showing disregard for the citizens we serve and the businesses that employ them and keep our country running and our nation secure.”

Last week, Gordon informed federal officials that he is prepared to take all necessary actions to protect Wyoming from unilateral actions targeting and crippling our energy industries.

A University of Wyoming study commissioned by the Legislature concluded that a moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal land could reduce Wyoming’s production by $872 million per year, costing the state more than $300 million a year in tax revenue.

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