Governor brings together experts to showcase unified fight against federal overreach

Posted 7/3/24

Governor brings together experts to showcase unified fight against federal overreach

Gov: “Continued collaboration to protect our livelihoods and our lands is our most effective …

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Governor brings together experts to showcase unified fight against federal overreach


CHEYENNE – Governor Mark Gordon hosted a town hall in Gillette today, bringing together state, local, and private-sector panelists who have all been active in challenging the Biden Administration’s federal overreach that threatens the state’s core industries and land management.
The Governor was joined by U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis, state agency directors and local officials, as well as industry leaders, who shared details of the impacts of the Biden Administration’s rulemaking, and how Wyoming is fighting back. Those tactics include increased collaboration and participation in federal planning and rulemaking, legal challenges and Congressional actions. Governor Gordon noted that the state has 58 active natural resources lawsuits, the vast majority against the federal government.
After a review of available legal resources, Governor Gordon announced at the meeting that he allocated an additional $800,000 in Coal Litigation Funds to the Attorney General in preparation to challenge the upcoming final decision of the Buffalo Resource Management Plan (RMP). Those funds will be utilized to supplement the AG’s efforts with a private firm with proven expertise in federal administrative law. This is in addition to the $300,000 recently allocated to the Wyoming Energy Authority (WEA) to assist in the state’s challenge to the latest round of rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency concerning coal-fired power plants. The WEA recently issued a Request For Proposals and is currently reviewing the submissions.
“For those of you in this room, it is the core industries we’re talking about — oil, gas, grain, coal — those are essential to Wyoming, essential to this community’s lifeblood and essential to our future as a state,” Governor Gordon told attendees. “It is what drives our country and it is our leadership across the spectrum, working together, that provides energy to the nation. We do it better and more carefully than any place in the entire world.” 

“Under the Biden administration, Wyoming’s ranchers, business owners and land owners have been hogtied by a myriad of federal regulations created by unchecked D.C. bureaucrats intended to lock up our land and appease its radical climate change base,” Senator Lummis said. “Governor Gordon and I heard directly from the people of Wyoming during the Gillette town hall about the ways this administration’s overreaching regulations have impacted their way of life, and we will continue to partner together to combat these bad policies on the state and federal level.”
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality Director Todd Parfitt discussed how the agency is handling the blizzard of rules and regulations being issued by the Environmental Protection Agency – at least 125, with another 98 proposed.
“These new rules have moved forward with little to no engagement with the state’s DEQ, which implements most of these programs impacted by these new rules,” Parfitt added. “These federal agencies appear to be more interested in the quantity of regulations versus the quality of regulations. Equally concerning is that these agencies have historically demonstrated that they are incapable of keeping up with implementing rules already in place, leading to increased litigation.”
Wyoming Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik explained how his agency offers input about the potential impacts of additional regulations like the BLM’s ‘Public Lands’ rule. Bob Budd, Executive Director of the Natural Resources Wildlife Trust, explained how successful Wyoming has been, to date, in managing the Greater sage-grouse to avoid it being listed as an endangered species. 
“Wyoming’s track record and leadership clearly illustrates why wildlife conservation and management decisions are always best when they are led by states. The ‘Public Lands’ Rule and related federal actions circumvent state authority to manage wildlife within Wyoming,” Nesvik said. “Game and Fish works closely with local BLM offices daily to manage wildlife on 18.4 million acres of BLM-managed lands in our state. This unnecessary rule interferes with our shared goal of thriving populations of the public’s wildlife on public lands.” 
Pete Obermueller, Executive Director of the Wyoming Petroleum Association and James Young, from the National Mining Association, wrapped up the panel session highlighting the devastating effect the numerous Biden rules will have on the Wyoming citizens who work in the oil, gas and coal industry. 
“Working together, we will defend our economy, our jobs, and Wyoming’s future,” Governor Gordon said.