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Wyoming Freedom Caucus Demands Gordon Act on Coal

May 22, 2023

May 22, 2024

Governor Mark Gordon
Wyoming State Capitol
200 W. 24th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82001

Governor Gordon,
As you know, President Biden’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced last week its intention to end all future coal leasing in the Powder River Basin– a decision in pursuit of the Biden Administration’s anti-American, anti-energy “climate crisis” agenda.

The BLM’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) refers to the shuttering of the nation’s largest coal producers as “the no-leasing alternative,” which the agency chose while rejecting the slate of other alternatives before it (including “no action” and “limited leasing” alternatives).

According to the agency, the “no-leasing alternative” was chosen after considering air quality, greenhouse gasses, climate change, public health, socioeconomics, and “environmental justice.”

In the SEIS analysis of the socioeconomic impacts of the “no-leasing alternative,” the BLM admits that millions of Americans presently rely on coal from the Powder River Basin for energy, and even notes that global market coal demands, especially in Asia, are expected to increase.

Nevertheless, the BLM still chose to eliminate the nation’s largest producers of aordable, plentiful, and clean energy. In justifying the unethical and illegal decision, the agency cited Wyoming’s failure to secure a coal export terminal in Washington State:

“A new coal port terminal on the US West Coast is unlikely, as illustrated by the 2021 denial of the US Supreme Court’s acceptance to hear … Wyoming’s complaint that Washington State interfered with their lawful interstate commerce by failing to permit a proposed coal export terminal.” (United States Bureau of Land Management (May 2024). Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) and Proposed Resource Management Plan Amendment, Bualo Field Oce, ES-12).

Wyoming’s appeal was denied by the US Supreme Court not on the merits, but on procedural grounds– the State, at your direction, filed our case too late for it to be heard in a timely manner.

This came two years after your veto of a 2018 bill to initiate litigation against Washington State for blocking access to the pacic markets who desperately wanted our clean coal.

As a cooperating agency under the National Environmental Policy Act, Wyoming has the legal ability– and duty– to resist the BLM’s radical move to destroy Wyoming as we know it.

We implore you to step up, ght back, and protect Wyoming, rst and foremost by ling a protest with the Bureau of Land Management, and by preparing for a full-edged legal battle now– not later.

Sincerely and for Wyoming,

House District 58
Representative Bill Allemand 

House District 31
Representative John Bear 

House District 4
Representative Jeremy Haroldson
 
House District 18
Representative Scott Heiner 

House District 42
Representative Ben Hornok 

House District 53
Representative Chris Knapp
 
House District 1
Representative Chip Neiman 

House District 34
Representative Pepper Ottman

Representative Sarah Penn
House District 33

Representative Rachel Rodriguez-Williams
House District 50

 Representative Daniel Singh 
House District 61

Representative Allen Slagle
House District 2

Representative Scott Smith 
House District 5

Representative Tomi Strock 
House District 6

Representative Jeanette Ward
House District 57

Representative John Winter
House District 28