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Natural Resources & Energy

Wyoming Gov. Gordon Objects To Biden Royalty Rule Change

Governor Mark Gordon's official portrait
State of Wyoming
Governor Mark Gordon

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has criticized a Biden Administration rule change that would raise royalty payments for fossil fuel companies.

The issue spans three presidential administrations.

In 2016, the Obama Administration changed a number of rules surrounding coal, oil and gas royalty rates. Those are the fees companies pay as compensation to taxpayers for drilling and mining on public lands.

Those fees are usually calculated based on the first time the energy company sells what it extracts. But if the company makes that first sale to a subsidiary company, it can charge less than market value and pay less in royalties. The Obama Administration changed the rules looking to prohibit that practice by calculating royalty rates based on the first outside sale.

The Trump Administration moved to reverse this rule change, and now Biden is moving to reverse Trump's reversal.

Gov. Gordon said in a statement that the Biden Administration is kicking the energy industry while it’s already down. And that "fossil fuel governors" like himself were not consulted.

"The list of anti-fossil fuel actions implemented by the Biden Administration without prior consultation with fossil fuel Governors just keeps getting longer," Gordon said in the statement. "When (coal, oil and gas) companies go out of business, no royalties are collected, less money is set aside for reclamation activities and the price of gasoline will continue to rise."

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