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Gordon restates vision of a carbon-negative Wyoming, but sets no timeline


As nations around the world and the U.S. government take steps to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change, Wyoming, one of the leading net-energy exporting states in the union, is also making efforts. Governor of Wyoming, Mark Gordon, recently restated that the state’s goal is to become carbon-negative by capturing and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

“Our nation needs energy, and right now there is a group of people who are thinking that the way you make sure that we address climate change, is to stop doing what has made us the wealthiest nation in the world”, Gordon said during the 2022 Governor's Business Forum at the University of Wyoming. “Wyoming stepped forward and said we [are] not just trying to figure out a renewable standard for 2030. We are going to be carbon-negative, and we can do it by just improving our technology, carbon sequestration.”

But critics worry that these are without a definite timeline or deadline. While Wyoming is home to considerable renewable energy activities, Gordon said these are insufficient to meet the growing demand, and therefore continued development of fossil fuels is necessary.

“Wind, solar, and all of these other energy sources have a place and a role to play in an emerging grid. But they can’t do it alone. They can’t do the dispatchable and the reliable energy that is absolutely necessary 24/7.” Gordon said.

While these efforts are a welcome development, Wyoming remains the state with the most carbon emissions per capita in the country. And while measures are being taken to diversify the state’s economy, the U.S Energy Information Administration says about two-fifths of all coal mined in the United States in 2020 took place in Wyoming.

Friday Otuya is a master's student in International Studies at the University of Wyoming.
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