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Gordon speaks at future of energy conference in Laramie

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon speaks at the 'Wyoming's Energy Future' conference in Laramie, Sept. 15.
Caitlin Tan
Wyoming Public Media
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon speaks at the 'Wyoming's Energy Future' conference in Laramie, Sept. 15.

A group of about 150 energy experts, workers and students gathered in Laramie Thursday, Sept. 15, for a conference called ‘Wyoming’s Energy Future,’ where Wyoming’s Governor Mark Gordon was a keynote speaker.

After a standing ovation, Gordon spoke briefly about the history of Wyoming’s economy – pointing out there were producing oil wells prior to its statehood.

“Really when you look at what built Wyoming, it was a group of people who came here and saw the opportunities that were available,” he said.

Gordon applauded the state’s diverse energy landscape, including traditional energy resources and renewable projects. For example, the largest onshore wind energy facility is going up in Carbon County and a nuclear reactor plant is being built in Kemmerer.

“The fact of the matter is we know we have more energy sources than anyone could contemplate,” he said.

Gordon also spoke about the impending climate crises and Wyoming’s role in finding solutions.

“And we’re not doing that by doing away with oil, gas and coal. We’re doing that by moving technology forward,” he said.

Gordon pointed to Wyoming’s investment in carbon capture and storage technologies. The idea is to capture greenhouse gasses either before they are emitted or after they are emitted into the atmosphere and store them underground.

Gordon added that one of the biggest hurdles for the state currently is federal regulations on the energy industry. He said this is slowing or even stopping development that could help with the climate crises.

“We’re not looking so much at solving for a particular problem, as much as we are thinking about how we avoid a lawsuit or what we can do to just get our project done,” he said.

Gordon said reforming these regulations and allowing the free market to find solutions to the climate crisis is key. He specifically pointed to Wyoming’s younger generation to address the concerns.

Caitlin Tan is the Energy and Natural Resources reporter based in Sublette County, Wyoming. Since graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2017, she’s reported on salmon in Alaska, folkways in Appalachia and helped produce 'All Things Considered' in Washington D.C. She formerly co-hosted the podcast ‘Inside Appalachia.' You can typically find her outside in the mountains with her two dogs.
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