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A letter to Gov. Mark Gordon

Wyoming Freedom Caucus

May 22, 2024

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,

Representative Bill Allemand

House District 58

Representative Scott Heiner

House District 18

Representative Chip Neiman

House District 1

Representative Rachel Rodriguez- Williams
House District 50

Representative Scott Smith

House District 5

Representative John Winter

House District 28

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