Republican Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon is facing criticism for his recent comments pledging to reduce his state’s carbon emissions and saying there was urgency to addressing the “warming climate.”
Gordon made the comments during a talk at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics in Massachusetts Monday, promoting the “Decarbonizing the West” initiative he established in his role as chairman of the Western Governors’ Association. In 2018, Gordon ran for governor on an all-of-the-above-energy platform and has since promoted green energy development.
“It is clear that we have a warming climate,” Gordon remarked Monday, according to The Harvard Crimson. “It is clear that carbon dioxide is a major contributor to that challenge. There is an urgency to addressing this issue.
“Wyoming is the first that has said that we will be carbon negative.”
Gordon further pointed to carbon capture and sequestration, forest management, nuclear energy and geothermal technology as solutions to addressing carbon emissions.
Republican Wyoming state Rep. John Bear, who chairs the Wyoming Freedom Caucus, blasted the governor, saying the state couldn’t afford to “give an inch” to anti-fossil fuel interests. Bear noted that Wyoming is highly dependent on its fossil fuel industry, which is among the largest in the nation.
“Frankly, I was embarrassed,” Bear told Fox News Digital in an interview. “I was embarrassed that our chief executive would go to a pro-Hamas, pro-China school and appease an anti-fossil fuel crowd. I was embarrassed that someone who campaigned as a conservative is ready to close the coffin on coal, oil and gas in his state. He has given in to the AOC and Al Gore hysteria that is, in fact, disputed science.
“At a time when Western governors should be embracing the idea of energy independence and pushing back on the anti-American, Biden agenda, I think he should be taking us a different direction,” Bear added. “We can’t afford to give an inch to the anti-fossil fuel crowd and their utopian view of green energy. Mark Gordon needs to explain to the people of Wyoming why he’s selling our economy and our livelihoods down the liberal river.”
According to federal data, Wyoming is the second-largest net energy supplier in the nation behind only Texas, producing nearly 12 times more energy than it consumes. Wyoming has been the top coal-producing state since 1986 and was the eighth-largest crude oil-producing state in the nation in 2022.
Overall, in 2022, a staggering 72% of Wyoming’s electricity was supplied by coal-fired power plants. Another 3.6% was produced by natural gas, and 23.1% was produced by renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.
Under Gordon’s leadership, wind power has more than doubled since 2019, the data showed.
“To be clear, the governor was not advocating shutting off fossil fuels, and the urgency he speaks about is because of the raft of regulations targeting the fossil fuel industry,” Michael Pearlman, a spokesperson for Gordon, told Fox News Digital. “Governor Gordon has been committed to protecting Wyoming’s core fossil fuel industries and tackling climate change since the beginning of his administration. He believes strongly that the United States can do both.
“Unlike the majority of people on both sides of the energy debate, Governor Gordon is bringing honesty to this conversation by thinking about pragmatic solutions that encompass both our fossil fuel portfolio and emerging energy technologies.
“However you feel about this debate, there is consensus that the U.S. and the world will need more energy, not less. With Governor Gordon’s leadership in the West, we will meet that demand.”