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With Wyoming ‘entering more frugal times,’ Gordon will keep fighting Biden energy policies

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CASPER, Wyo. — Governor Mark Gordon’s office summarized the vision of the path laying ahead of the state laid out by Gordon during his “State of the State Address” on Tuesday.

“We’re entering more frugal times and we will have to continue to temper wants and emphasize needs,” Gordon said in his address to the 66th Wyoming Legislature. “Success will require action from individuals, businesses and our state government. That’s what I believe this session is all about.”

“What we do today can mean that the Wyoming we love remains. These next few years will be pivotal for Wyoming. And I intend to do my best to make sure our citizens are confident in their future.”

Gordon asked the legislature to carefully consider the budget he has presented and highlighted K-12 education as the “biggest elephant” needing attention in the state.

He said that the state has shown resilience through the COVID-19 pandemic as well as through crashing commodity prices of oil in 2020.

Gordon said the state should be committed to an energy future than includes both fossil fuels and renewables and called for consistent and clear policies to guide the development of wind and solar.

“Wyoming can and must be a leader in (carbon capture) and other emerging technologies, even as we pursue the development of resources such as wind and solar,” Gordon said. “Our long history of working with coal, oil and natural gas, and regulating its related impacts to protect and enhance other natural resources, such as wildlife, is well established. Wind and solar development must be held to the same standards.”

Gordon also touched on his efforts to oppose the Biden administration’s moratorium on new federal oil and gas leasing.

“As governor, my position remains clear and firm,” he said. “I will continue to fight for our state’s future, and defend the right to responsibly develop all of our resources.”

When it comes to education, Gordon highlighted the Wyoming Innovation Network (WIN), a collaboration between the state’s community colleges and the University of Wyoming. While in its early stages, Gordon said the network will help strengthen the state’s workforce and promote economic growth.

“Education is changing,” Gordon said. “Work is changing. People want and need more opportunities and approaches. Wyoming needs to respond.”

Gordon also expressed his desire to reform the state’s early childhood education system and said that the state’s K-12 education system “is no longer sustainable.”

“This is far more than a budget issue,” he said of K-12 funding. “I want our stakeholders and our communities to be involved in establishing a plan and vision.”

Gordon also noted the significance of the state’s tourism industry, support for the agricultural sector as well as efforts to diversify the economy.

“The recorded speech can be viewed here,” Gordon’s office said. “A copy of the Governor’s prepared comments may be found here.”

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