Wyoming’s energy ideas, technology and resources will step into the nation’s spotlight this weekend on the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes.”
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, Power Company of Wyoming CEO Bill Miller and University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources Executive Director Holly Krutka were interviewed by the television magazine.
A CBS trailer promoting the show depicts correspondent Bill Whitaker and Gordon on horseback riding across rangeland, mountains in the background.
“Growing up here gave me an enormous appreciation for the world,” Gordon says. The trailer cuts to a coal train heading down the tracks.
Gordon Surprises '60 Minutes'
Whitaker narrates as video segues to a coal train, gas-field pipe flame and wind turbines: “This rancher and Republican governor unsurprisingly stands by big coal, but he surprised us on just about everything else he believed around energy policy.”
Whitaker asks the governor about climate change and how he believes it is real and that it’s an “urgent” crisis.
“I have said that and gotten some pushback from that as well,” Gordon replies.
“I bet you have,” Whitaker laughed.
“I have,” Gordon said, laughing too.
Multiple requests from Cowboy State Daily to the governor’s office for comment on the “60 Minutes” segment weren’t responded to Friday.
On Saturday, Gordon spokesperson Michael Pearlman replied by email that the interview is not a response to recent controversies surrounding the governor’s remarks on energy and climate change. In fact, the interview happened before his Harvard visit.
“The interview was taped in September when a '60 Minutes' crew visited the governor on his ranch in Johnson County,” Pearlman said. “This was prior to his visit to Harvard. So, any comments he makes in the interview should not be interpreted as a response to the misplaced criticism that was levelled at him by Rep. (John) Bear and some members of the Legislature.”
Vote Of No Confidence
Gordon has received much criticism for his climate stance.
The Wyoming Republican Party issued a vote of no confidence against the governor after he went to Harvard in late October to talk about his belief that climate change is real and for stating his goal for Wyoming is to become "carbon negative."
The GOP statement said Gordon’s actions have “boldly turned” his back on the values of the Wyoming Republican Party and its fossil fuel industries.
In a guest column, one Republican state legislator said Gordon's comments "were embarrassing enough for national news outlets to take notice."
"That’s because it is embarrassing for Wyoming’s governor to share with an adoring liberal audience his plans to totally upend Wyoming’s energy industry when he did not share these intentions with the energy producers back home when he ran for office," wrote Bear, R-Gillette.
Krutka said she was interviewed “for a couple of hours” about Wyoming as a place for energy innovation, the School of Energy Resources that she leads, the development of alternative coal products, and carbon capture and storage.
“I don’t know what they took from it,” she said.
For the rest of the story Wyoming residents will have to wait until Sunday when it hits prime time on CBS at 6 p.m.
Dale Killingbeck can be reached at email@example.com.