This is an open letter to Governor Mark Gordon.
You stated that Wyoming "will be the first carbon negative state." You say you will lead the initiative to “decarbonize[e] the West”.
Sen. Steinmetz and other legislators challenged you to support your claims of this supposed looming CO2-driven “climate crisis” in a debate represented with competent scientists from both sides of the climate issue.
Initially you accepted, then you reneged. You told the Legislature that a debate is “unfruitful.”
Clearly, you believe that your own views about CO2 can unilaterally commit our state to vast industrial and economic change and should not be questioned. The undersigned legislators and citizens, confident that we share the views of a large majority of Wyoming’s residents, disagree vociferously with you.
You owe us defense of the science behind your conclusions - unless you expect us all to accept your declaration as diktat because, in your words, “one side of that [CO2] argument currently holds most of the levers of regulation”. This is nonsense to us. The BLM similarly “holds most of the levers of regulation” over its radical RMP land use proposal. Do you plan to surrender with a whimper on this matter also?
Governor, the plain fact is that you made the Harvard statement on your own, without statutory authority, without economic or budgetary analysis, without revealing the technology, without knowing its cost, availability or practicality. And worst of all, without consulting Wyoming’s citizens or the Legislature.
You even stated, without any evidence, that "your views are “well respected” in Wyoming. We could not differ more strongly!
After your declarations about ‘carbon negative’ and decarbonizing, we ask what limits you do you see to your authority? In your November 20 letter to the Legislature reneging on your earlier agreement to debate, you dismissively labeled people like us as ignorant dissenters seeking “venal political gain.” This is not how we conduct our affairs in Wyoming.
Contrary to the assertion in your letter, CO2 as a driver of a climate crisis is NOT a settled scientific matter. See the attachment to this letter with graphs provided by CO2 Coalition researchers.
The data show slightly increasing temperatures in Wyoming since 1895, due solely to a slight rise in nighttime temperatures. High temperatures are slightly decreasing.
The data show slightly increasing precipitation. During these years, CO2 in the atmosphere increased -- to levels which are still low when looked at in geologic time.
Adding to atmospheric concentration of the essential plant food CO2 has raised crop yields and led to a general greening of our planet, including in Wyoming.
During these 128 years, there have been warmer and colder periods, drier and wetter periods. The trends are benign, not alarming. This is not the crisis you claim it to be. We call this ‘cycles in the weather’! We assert that Wyoming (and the world) would benefit from more atmospheric CO2, not less.
In your world, science flows from your policy opinions. In our world, policy flows from the science. Respectfully, you have the policy backward because you have the science backward.
You say your real energy policy is “all of the above”, implying that current fossil fuel industries can stay viable while you ‘decarbonize’. These are fundamentally contradictory positions.
They are no defense of our fossil fuels industries, instead they are an attack! We know as well as you that ‘carbon-negative’ requires either shutting down (or vastly limiting) our fossil fuel extraction industries or saddling them with the ruinous financial burden of deploying unproven new technology to isolate CO2.
It's time for you to be honest with citizens of Wyoming.
Barbara Hill – Sheridan
Bill Allemand – Representative HD 58
Jeanette Ward - Representative HD 57
Tony Locke – Representative HD 35
Bob Ide – Senator SD 29
Bryan Helferich – Ranchester
Carol Helferich – Ranchester
Mary Lake – Story
Mike Lake – Story
Michelle Parker – Sheridan
Robert W Parker – Sheridan
Steve Treman – Sheridan
Mike Arzy – Sheridan
Lou Walleck – Sheridan
Jeff Walleck – Sheridan
Kristen Jennings – Sheridan
Diane Pendergraft – Sheridan
Ken Pendergraft – Representative HD 29
Elena Campbell – Sheridan
Janelle Wilcox – Sheridan
Jonn Wilcox – Sheridan
Michelle Ritterbush – Sheridan
Mr. Ritterbush – Sheridan
Tod Windsor – Sheridan
Bryan Miller – Sheridan
Ronnie LaBlanc – Sheridan
David Iverson – Buffalo (Cowboy State Politics)
Nicholas Psaki – Sheridan
Cynthia Butler – Sheridan
Lee Butler – Sheridan
Noll Roberts – Sheridan
Mark Jennings – Representative HD 30
Dan Grover – Sheridan
Robert Byrd – Sheridan
Bill Adsit – Sheridan
Natalie Trampe – Sheridan
Matai Trampe – Sheridan
Dawn Kenneda – Sheridan
Ryan Kenneda – Sheridan
Bill Perkins – Sheridan
David Fisher – Sheridan
Harry Pollak – Sheridan
Roger Miller – Sheridan