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Wyoming delegation responds to federal regulations ‘targeting American energy’

Senator John Barrasso, Senator Cynthia Lummis and Representative Harriet Hageman.

• Government leaders warn of effect on jobs and power supply.

Wyoming’s U.S. Delegation, the Governor and Lincoln County Commission have responded to U.S. Environmental Protection’s Agency’s proposal to put more restriction on coal power plans across the nation.

The new rule directs coal and natural gas power plants to cut,  or capture 90 percent of the emissions by 2032.

Sen. Barrasso

U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY)

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso advised, “As the Biden administration is headed out the door, they will be trying to push more and more punishing regulations that target American energy. This onslaught of overreaching and outrageous climate rules will shut down power plants and increase energy costs for families across the country. They will also handcuff America’s coal and natural gas production – two of our most affordable and reliable sources of electricity. Wyoming energy jobs will be threatened, electricity bills will rise, and the country will be at risk for rolling blackouts,” he said. “Americans deserve clean air, clear rules and reliable electricity. Punishing regulations make this impossible. Republicans will work to stop them and fight for solutions that protect our air and water and allow our economy to grow.”

Sen. Lummis

Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)

U.S. Cynthia Lummis added, “President Biden’s Green New Deal inspired rules appear designed to force the closure of Wyoming power plants with no plan to replace the energy currently being produced,” she said. “This attack on Wyoming energy undermines our way of life by jeopardizing jobs and revenue for our state and local governments. Forcing the closure of gas and coal-fired plants that account for 60% of electricity generated across the country, while increasing demand by 30% through an electric vehicle mandate is not only unrealistic but dangerous. I will be working with my colleagues to overturn this disastrous set of regulations and protect Wyoming energy workers who power this country.”



Rep. Hageman

U.S. Representative Harret Hageman (R-WY)

U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman advised, “What the EPA conveniently ignored when announcing its latest attack on America’s legacy industries is how these shortsighted rules will devastate reliable and affordable energy and deepen the energy poverty crisis in our nation.”

She continued, “We need more affordable, reliable energy, not less. The baseless, subjective standards created by these rules seek to upend the coal mines and power plants that built Wyoming and this country. For generations, the hard-working men and women of our state have dedicated their careers to making our lives better by responsibly developing Wyoming’s vast natural resources. I am both appalled and unsurprised that the Biden Administration continues to vilify our reliable energy producers and I call on the EPA to immediately rescind these destructive rules that benefit radical climate activists at the expense of the American people.”

Gov. Gordon

Governor Mark Gordon

Governor Mark Gordon, explained, “Under the EPA rules, Wyoming coal fired units are given three choices: 1) shut down by January 2032; 2) convert to natural gas co-firing by 2030, with a forced shutdown by January 1, 2039; or 3) install C02 capture facilities by 2032.

Gov. Gordon called the effects of the rules “devastating” and vowed to challenge them in court.

“It is clear the only goal envisioned by these rules released by the Environmental Protection Agency is the end of coal communities in Wyoming. EPA has weaponized the fear of climate change into a crushing set of rules that will result in an unreliable electric grid, unfordable electricity, and thousands of lost jobs. This administration has turned its back on the very industries and states that have made our country strong,” he said.  “Coal-fired power plants produce approximately 20 percent of the nation’s electricity, but under these rules, are shouldering 100 percent of the burden. Clearly, managing CO2 emissions is not the real target – it is Wyoming’s fossil fuel industries.”

Gov. Gordon continued, “It is far beyond disappointing; these rules are a travesty, and their effects are devastating. I acknowledge that EPA has provided two more years to install carbon capture on some coal-fired units than originally proposed. Though I have always maintained that Wyoming utilities and power plants are working as fast as they can to deploy multiple technologies for CO2 capture, nonetheless rules like these stymie progress.”

He said, “This rule is environmental extortion and pits fossil fuels against each other rather than recognizing America needs all the energy we can produce. That is the only way to provide reliable 24-hour power to millions of customers both in and outside Wyoming.  If the federal government is going to provide tax incentives and emission-reduction policies, it should allow  all types of energy to compete on a level playing field and recognize the life-cycle emissions cost equally.

“These rules will not only significantly increase the cost of dispatchable electricity, they seriously threaten the reliability of the electric grid and endanger the domestic economy and security. If the federal government is going to provide tax incentives, it should do so on a life-cycle emissions basis, where coal, gas, wind, solar are all given equal policy and tax treatment.

“I have directed the Wyoming Attorney General to engage with and lead a coalition of states to challenge the power plant emissions rule and  we are prepared to apply our litigation strategy to the oncoming wave of federal regulatory actions that threaten Wyoming.

The governor added, “In addition to the CO2 ban, the other rules announced are just shoveling more dirt on the coal communities casket. Existing regulations for power plant discharges have proved effective in protecting the quality of Wyoming’s waters; yet EPA has instead chosen to impose new regulations that unnecessarily place further burdens on our power plants. All emissions related to coal-fired power plants have significantly decreased over the last generation. This is truly a bludgeon when a fly-swatter would have worked.”

Lincoln Co. Commission

Lincoln County’s Commissioner’s offered similar comment.

Commission Chairman Ken Connelly said, “The Biden assault of Wyoming continues without any input from the people. Mandate after mandate. The Lincoln County Commission adamantly opposes this action and will encourage the governor and our  congressman and senators to do so also.”

Connelly emphasized, “Our very life as we know it is in jeopardy with this federal mandate. We intend to fight for Wyoming”

Commissioner Bowers said she agreed with Connelly’s summary of the new directives.

Commissioner Jerry Hansen, said. “Washington’s war on the West, and Wyoming specifically, continues. This mandate is an existential threat to the electric power generation plant, a  coal mine, and many ancillary services in Lincoln County.

“A high probability exists that this action by the Biden administration will adversely affect thousands of employees, and their families in  Wyoming communities and in the region.

“I support Senator Barrasso’s opposition to this mandate.  I agree with Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon’s statement that Wyoming is ‘…prepared to apply our litigation strategy to the oncoming wave of federal regulatory actions that threaten Wyoming.’ ”

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