Delegation posts energy protection bills


WYOMING – On Thursday, Gov. Mark Gordon sent his praises out to Wyoming’s legislators for introducing bills in the U.S. House and Senate that challenge President Biden’s executive order that pauses new federal oil and gas leasing.

U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis introduced Protecting our Wealth of Energy Resources (POWER) Act of 2021. It 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.

Fellow Sen. John Barrasso cosponsored the POWER bill with many other Republican senators.

Gov. Gordon said, “I heartily endorse passage of the POWER Act, sponsored by Sens. 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. 

In the U.S. House, Rep. Liz Cheney introduced The Safeguarding Oil and Gas Leasing and Permitting Act and The Safeguarding Coal Leasing Act. These would prohibit any moratorium on federal oil and gas leasing or permitting or coal leasing without a joint resolution of approval by Congress.

“I commend Congresswoman Cheney for her continued leadership to protect the people of Wyoming,” Gov. Gordon said. “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.”

Gov. Gordon called financial losses “catastrophic” to Wyoming with a potential one-year oil and gas leasing ban.