Gordon Gives Testimony to House Committee on Climate Change
On Tuesday, Governor Mark Gordon, along with New Mexico's Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, spoke in front of the House Select Committee on the climate crisis to discuss the impact their states have had on the climate.
Gordon said when asked about the impact that regulations would have on energy production, that more regulations would make it harder for Wyoming to produce energy.
"Additional regulation is always an inhibitor to any kind of business proposition, and it will raise the prices, particularly on fuel, itl'll raise the price on production, it'll make things just difficult to get accomplished," Gordon said. "For the state, it will also complicate, and we did comment on this, it'll complicate our ability to administer those regulations, putting unnecessary and burdensome requirements on our staff to be able to meet these new requirements...States really do provide an opportunity for innovation on a regulatory framework, and we do that with the knowledge and buy in with our stakeholders. That is the proper approach, and I think that the federal one-size fits all rule doesn't necessarily with unique circumstances, unique geologies."
While Gordon didn't outline any specific regulations he takes issue with, he did allude to the freeze that President Joe Biden put on new oil and gas leases, which was overturned last June.
According to the Center for Western Priorities, the issue isn't companies having access to land, as they aren't using around 9.8 million acres, it's that they are reticent to increase production due to operating costs, a key factor in increasing gas prices.
Gordon said that Wyoming is trying to utilize multiple different forms of energy to diversify the state's economy.
"Wyoming, as I mentioned in my testimony, is an all of the above state, we have multiple resources we want to use, and actually consider the transition a real challenge and an opportunity...It's just one reason why we want to diversify across advanced nuclear, which can bring back onshore really some of the most important parts of that future energy supply, our uranium industry, both important for New Mexico and Wyoming. It's also really talking about hydrogen and there, Colorado, Wyoming New Mexico, and Utah and have jointly talked about a hydrogen hub. We recognize that electric vehicles have a future and we're all have worked towards that."
When asked about the benefits of carbon capture, Gordon said that doing that is important to curbing climate change.
"For us, we believe that our legacy industries have as much a role to play as any of the new sources that come online, we obviously know that they have to be better, carbon capture and sequestration provides us that opportunity," Gordon said. "And I also know that if we're going to do something about CO2 in the atmosphere, chairwoman I think you mentioned that CO2 is a little longer lasting in the atmosphere, we're going to have to do something dramatically to reduce that, to offset what's going to be used elsewhere...We feel that we can be the solution to long term climate change if we use this. Wyoming also has the best ability to model this in formation. The big difficulty for us is the first well is the most challenging, it's the one that regulation has to be proofed, and challenged, that's really where we are."
During the hearing, only Democrats questioned New Mexico's governor, who is a Democrat, while Republican members only questioned Gordon, a Republican.