CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed Senate Joint Resolution 03 on Tuesday, a resolution which calls for the reversal of “federal orders and actions that inhibit the safe development of oil and gas in Wyoming and that negatively and disproportionately impact Wyoming citizens and industries.”
The resolution claims that President Joe Biden’s executive actions limiting oil and gas development on federal lands could put 20,000 jobs at risk. This aspect of the resolution was added in by a Senate amendment and the House of Representatives later amended the resolution further to state that oil, gas and related industries represent over 7% of total employment in Wyoming.
The resolution is an effort for the legislature to formally protest the Biden administration’s oil and gas policies. Sen. Ed Cooper (Big Horn, Fremont, Hot Springs, Park, Washakie County) said on first reading that Gordon had asked that the legislature adopt a resolution to support his own calls for the executive orders limiting oil and gas development to be rescinded.
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Wyoming politicians and officials, including Gordon, Sen. John Barrasso, Sen. Cynthia Lummis, Rep. Liz Cheney to Superintendent Jillian Balow and Nesvik have been vocal in their criticism of the Biden administration orders placing a moratorium on federal oil and gas leasing and permitting.
On the other hand, some like the Wyoming Outdoor Council have said the political rhetoric has been exaggerated and inaccurate at times.
“The vast majority of state revenue from public lands drilling comes from royalties on production, which the executive order will not impact,” the Wyoming Outdoor Council said in February. “In any given year, royalties from existing production provide approximately 90% of the revenue shared with the state from federal public lands oil and gas development.”
The Senate passed Senate Joint Resolution 03 on a third reading vote of 28-2 on March 17. That vote was as follows:
- Ayes: ANDERSON, BALDWIN, BITEMAN, BONER, BOUCHARD, CASE, COOPER, DOCKSTADER, DRISKILL, ELLIS, FRENCH, FURPHY, GIERAU, HICKS, HUTCHINGS, JAMES, KINSKEY, KOLB, KOST, LANDEN, MCKEOWN, NETHERCOTT, PAPPAS, SALAZAR, SCHULER, SCOTT, STEINMETZ, WASSERBURGER
- Nays: PERKINS, ROTHFUSS
The House passed the resolution on a third reading vote of 55-5 on April 1:
- Ayes: ANDREW, BAKER, BANKS, BEAR, BLACKBURN, BROWN, BURKHART, BURT, CLAUSEN, CRAGO, DUNCAN, EKLUND, EYRE, FLITNER, FORTNER, GRAY, GREEAR, HALLINAN, HAROLDSON, HARSHMAN, HEINER, HENDERSON, HUNT, JENNINGS, KINNER, BARLOW, KNAPP, LARSEN, L, LAURSEN, D, MACGUIRE, MARTINEZ, NEIMAN, NEWSOME, NICHOLAS, OAKLEY, OBERMUELLER, O’HEARN, OLSEN, OTTMAN, PAXTON, ROSCOE, SHERWOOD, SIMPSON, SOMMERS, STITH, STYVAR, SWEENEY, WALTERS, WASHUT, WESTERN, WHARFF, WILLIAMS, WILSON, WINTER, ZWONITZER
- Nays: CLIFFORD, CONNOLLY, PROVENZA, SCHWARTZ, YIN
Because the House adopted an amendment to the resolution, it returned to the Senate for a concurrence vote which passed on the same 28-2 lines on April 1.