Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon testifies before the Senate on federal oil and gas leasing

(Washington D.C.) Today, April 27th, Governor Mark Gordon, testified before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), which includes ranking member Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), at a hearing to examine energy development on federal lands.

In his written testimony, Gordon stressed the fact that Wyoming can cut carbon emissions while also continuing to use fossil fuels, stating:

“I recently announced that Wyoming can achieve negative net zero carbon emissions AND continue to use fossil fuels. In fact, in my State of the State address I called for Wyoming to lead this nation to a net negative standard and I called for us to achieve this goal while fully supporting an all of the above energy approach. If we all work together, Wyoming will continue to supply energy to consumers across the nation using wind, solar, nuclear, hydrogen and fossil fuels, all while reducing carbon emission. Energy distribution must be reliable, robust, and broad to ensure a reliable energy supply to our families and businesses.” 


Gordon detailed the need for energy production on federal lands in Wyoming as well, going on to say:

“Oil and gas production from Federal land and mineral acreage is vital to our state and national economy. According to data compiled by the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, Wyoming ranks first in natural gas production on public lands and second in oil. Since 2015, leasing revenues generated $474 million total for the State of Wyoming with more than that going to the U.S. Treasury. Total energy related revenues from public lands in Wyoming generated $457 million last fiscal year for Wyoming. That income is our largest source of revenue for schools and other essential government programs. Over the last 8 years, Wyoming averaged $35 million annually from lease sales. How much has Wyoming received from lease revenues this year? Zero, because of the de facto leasing moratorium. This absence of revenue is glaring, especially when we are also reeling from the economic devastation of COVID-19.”

Gordon also discussed how Wyoming has been disproportionately affected by the administration’s oil and gas leasing moratorium, remarking:

“Let me state what is obvious: this moratorium on leasing during the review discriminates against the people of Wyoming and every other Western state with Federal minerals. We are all disproportionately affected by the freeze. Oil and gas producing states where activity occurs mainly on private lands are now seeing an increase of interest from oil and gas producers. These jobs and the economic activity that production provides migrate elsewhere. Wyoming sees fewer jobs, the overall economy declines, and less revenue accrues to the state from bonus bids, rentals, and royalties. This revenue funds our schools, health care, public safety, and other essential services.”

Gordon concluded by stating:


“I stand ready to work with you as you continue your oversight of the program and contemplate changes. I leave you with my belief that the leasing moratorium is unnecessary and discriminatory to the people of the Western United States.”

For more information on Gordon’s testimony and the hearing, click here.

To view Senator Barrasso’s introduction of Governor Gordon, click here.

To view Governor Gordon appear before the ENR, click here.

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