(Cheyenne, WY) –Governor Mark Gordon has issued the following statements in support of bills introduced today, January 28th by Congresswoman Liz Cheney and Senator Cynthia Lummis that challenge President Biden’s executive order halting federal oil and gas leasing.
Representative Cheney introduced “The Safeguarding Oil and Gas Leasing and Permitting Act” and, “The Safeguarding Coal Leasing Act.” These bills would prohibit any moratorium on federal oil and gas leasing or permitting or coal leasing unless a joint resolution of approval is enacted by Congress.
“I commend Congresswoman Cheney for her continued leadership to protect the people of Wyoming. The introduction of the Safeguarding Oil and Gas Leasing and Permitting Act, along with similar legislation for coal, underscores her support of Wyoming. The leasing moratorium announced by the Biden administration today shows that traditional Wyoming energy industries are being targeted by climate-only activists. By sponsoring these bills, Cheney shows that Congress needs to participate in these brash, unilateral DC-based actions.”
“Oil and gas industries across the West are hit hard by the Biden administration’s executive action– eight Western states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming) could lose $8 billion in GDP and over $2 billion in tax revenue per year. This is a bipartisan issue. I thank Congresswoman Cheney for taking it on.”
The Governor also voiced his support for Senator Lummis’ Protecting our Wealth of Energy Resources (POWER) Act of 2021. Co-sponsored by Senator John Barrasso, the POWER Act would prohibit the president or his secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and Energy departments from blocking energy or mineral leasing and permitting on federal lands and waters without Congressional approval.
“I heartily endorse passage of the POWER Act, sponsored by Senators Barrasso, Lummis, and other western Senators. Wyoming, like most Western states, contains significant lands and minerals that are owned by the federal government. For generations, the federal government has recognized that multiple-use of those lands is essential to the economies and environment of states like Wyoming. Unfortunately, a sudden, widespread and devastating halt of federal leasing of fossil fuels and minerals makes that long-honored practice moot. Sweeping actions such as this also fail to recognize the outstanding conservation and multiple-use efforts that states like Wyoming have conducted through partnerships with industry, NGOs, and private landowners.
The potential financial losses are catastrophic. A one-year oil and gas leasing ban could result in more than $2 billion in investment loss by oil and gas companies in Wyoming and a tax revenue loss to Wyoming of $300 million according to a recently completed University of Wyoming study.
This bill would provide that Congress would have to agree to an energy or mineral moratorium and help avoid the overreach of one branch of government. Since federal laws provide for the leasing of fossil fuels and minerals, it is appropriate that Congress would have to agree to such a departure from the intent of federal law. It is disappointing that such a law is necessary, but it is.”