During a recent policy townhall hosted by the Council’s SVP Government Affairs Tim Tarpley and Government Affairs Committee Chair Todd Ennenga, Halliburton, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon discussed challenges and opportunities his state is facing related to energy policy more than a year after the pandemic began.
In his opening remarks, Gov. Gordon announced several new state projects and programs including: a new nuclear facility at a retired coal plant, the legislature’s appropriation of $10 million towards carbon capture, and relaunching the “Energy Rebound Program” using $12 million in CARES Act funds to bring people back to work.
Gov. Gordon dissected ramifications of the federal leasing moratorium, which the Council and its membership have been monitoring and addressing with government officials. Approximately 47% of Wyoming is federal lands, Gov. Gordon said.
The governor cited a University of Wyoming study, which found that the Biden Administration’s federal leasing moratorium would lead to a loss $1.7 billion in oil and gas investments in the first year. Gov. Gordon said the moratorium would cause the loss of $180 million in oil and gas tax revenues — funds used to pay for Wyoming’s schools and much of the state government.
Gov. Gordon described a good working relationship with fellow Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is facing similar challenges in New Mexico, but said it’s difficult to schedule a meeting with the new Biden Administration.
“I was really looking for an entree to get to the White House to talk about the great stuff that’s going on here in Wyoming. We have the only stable wildlife population of sage grouse, and we’ve put forward a very good set of methane regulations, among other things.”Gov. Mark Gordon, Wyoming
Gov. Gordon said Wyoming has a goal of being carbon neutral — or even negative — while maintaining its use of fossil fuels. He believes the federal government can help the state reach that goal through tax relief and investments but is weary of overreach and impositions.
If you are interested in engaging with the Council’s advocacy at the state or federal level, please contact SVP Government Affairs & Counsel Tim Tarpley.
Maria Suarez, Director Government Affairs, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Council’s newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, Council activities and more.