Gordon leads republican governors in asking Biden to withdraw drilling order

WYOMING — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon is leading a coalition of 17 Republican Governors in a letter urging President Joe Biden to withdraw an Executive Order that bans new oil and gas development on federal land and in offshore waters.

Under former President Donald Trump, federal agencies prioritized energy development and eased environmental rules to speed up drilling permits as part of the Republican’s goal to boost fossil fuel production. Trump consistently downplayed the dangers of climate change, which Biden has made a top priority.

The leasing pause will enable a review that’s part of an all-government fight against “a profound climate crisis” exacerbated by the burning of fossil fuels, Biden’s order states.

A 2018 report found that Wyoming was the largest single contributor of greenhouse gasses from fossil fuels extracted from federal lands. The estimates for the decade between 2005-2014, a period before coal companies saw a significant loss of demand, showed that fossil fuels extracted from Wyoming were responsible for 57% of greenhouse gasses emitted from oil, gas, and coal mined from federal lands nationwide.

Gordon 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 state primacy for emission standards.

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

Joining Governor Gordon in signing the letter were Governors Kay Ivey (AL), Mike Dunleavy (AK), Doug Ducey (AZ), Asa Hutchinson (AR), Brad Little (ID), Eric Holcomb (IN), Tate Reeves (MS), Mike Parson (MO), Greg Gianforte (MT), Pete Ricketts (NE), Doug Burgum (ND), Kevin Stitt (OK), Kristi Noem (SD), Bill Lee (TN), Greg Abbott (TX), Spencer Cox (UT).

A copy of the letter may be found here.

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