The Wyoming House of Representatives during its last session in 2013. (EO)

(Cheyenne, Wyo.) Leadership of the Wyoming State Legislature cautiously lauded a decision yesterday from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enact a stay on a ruling that declared Riverton and surrounding lands are within the borders of the Wind River Reservation.

Last month the State of Wyoming filed a petition asking the EPA to reconsider and also stay any implementation of its decision in December to alter the boundary of the state and Wind River Reservation. In recent weeks the Northern Arapaho Business Council and the Eastern Shoshone also requested a stay.

“I’m pleased the EPA has heeded the Attorney General’s call in issuing a stay,” said Senate President Tony Ross (SD-04). “While the breadth and scope of the EPA decision is still not entirely known, one thing is certain – the overreach of the EPA poses a very real threat to Wyoming’s economy, jobs, energy production and revenues.”

“Bureaucrats in Washington, DC, who have never been to Wyoming, continue to pass rules and regulations based upon ideals and rumors that have no relation to what actually happens here in Wyoming,” said House Speaker Tom Lubnau (HD-31). “The EPA is no exception. While I’m encouraged the EPA has issued a stay, the battle is not over. Wyoming must have the resources it needs to rein in the EPA and protect mineral production.”

While the stay delays implementation of the ruling, it does not change the ruling. Governor Mead signaled the State Attorney General will still move forward with plans to challenge the decision in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Earlier this week, the House and Senate approved introduction of two key measures that push back on burdensome regulations from the EPA. House Bill 78 (HB78), sponsored by Representative David Miller (HD-55), empowers the Governor of Wyoming, through the Attorney General, to take action against the overreach of the EPA. Senate Joint Resolution 1 (SJ1), sponsored by Senator Jim D. Anderson (SD-2), calls on Congress to require the EPA to respect the primacy of Wyoming in developing guidelines for regulating carbon dioxide emissions, was also cleared for consideration.

–From the office of State Representative Rosie Berger, House Speaker Pro Tempore