politics

Bob Beck

Wyoming legislative leaders say they will delay the bulk of the 2021 legislative session until the state's COVID-19 outbreak is under control.

Updated at 2:38 p.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden stressed a return to multilateralism Tuesday as he introduced key national security and foreign policy appointees and nominees for his incoming White House Cabinet, moving forward with the traditional transition process even though President Trump still hasn't formally admitted defeat.

Wyoming Legislature logo
Wyoming Legislature

The Campbell County Commissioners have chosen a replacement for the late Roy Edwards. Former Campbell County Commissioner Chris Knapp will take over the term of Rep. Edwards and represent District 53 at the state legislature.

BlackRockSolar

  

Environmental groups are hoping to see action on climate, energy, and environmental justice when President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January.

Proposed projects or LWCF funding from the Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land / The Trust for Public Land

The Interior Department is facing criticism for putting up barriers to conservation projects nationwide funded through the new Great American Outdoors Act.

Public Domain

The Legislature's Joint Revenue Committee has voted to recommend approval of a nine cent fuel tax increase to pay for highway maintenance. Wyoming Department of Transportation Director Luke Reiner said WYDOT faces a funding gap of $136 million and the tax increase would help chip away at that.

A voting machine company based in the Mountain West has become the center of an unfounded conspiracy theory propagated by the president intended to shed doubt on the presidential election.


Democrats once again lost ground in much of the rural West. That includes Montana, where Republicans swept the election for the first time in at least two decades. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., will soon be the lone progressive holding federal office in the state. He's also the only working farmer in the U.S. Senate and author of a new book, Grounded: A Senator's Lessons On Winning Back Rural America. He spoke about lessons learned from November's election with reporter Nate Hegyi of the Mountain West News Bureau.

The U.S. is now officially out of the Paris climate accord

Climate policy is mixed around the Mountain West, but many states are seeing action and a transition to renewable energy regardless of federal leadership. 

Stevenson's Hyrail Services, LLC early on during the pandemic
Cooper McKim

Local businesses serving the energy industry in Wyoming are expressing anxiety over expected policy changes from President-elect Joe Biden.

Cevin Iemus, owner of Land Surveying, Incorporated in Gillette, said he expects his bottom line to be greatly impacted by this election. He's thinking about Biden's potential ban of oil and gas permits on federal land. For now, Iemus expects a surge of new permits and activity to outrun those changes, "but it's going to take a quick turn and go downhill."

While President Donald Trump's accusations of widespread voter fraud are based on no evidence, they are gaining some traction in the region. 

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., is asking his supporters via text to help fund the president's legal fight, saying, "Dems are stealing the election." 

The entire four-person staff of a county health department in northwest Montana resigned this week.

The constitutional amendment to remove the limit of debt municipalities can have on sewer projects has failed after Tuesday's general election.

Though the majority of votes on the issue were in support of it, those more than 126,000 votes made up only 45 percent of total votes cast in the election. More than 50 percent is the threshold required to amend Wyoming's Constitution.

Montana has long prided itself as a purple state, handing wins to both Democrats and Republicans over the past few decades. 

But on Tuesday night, conservatives won every key race in the state, nabbing a hotly contested U.S. Senate seat, Montana's lone congressional seat, and the governorship.

Lynnette Grey Bull for Congress

 

A record 14 Indigenous people ran for Congress this year from both parties, including six candidates in the Mountain West. Most of them were not successful. But Aliyah Chavez, a reporter and producer for Indian Country Today, says their campaigns still had an impact. She spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Savannah Maher about the outcomes of those races, the six Native people who will serve in Congress in the upcoming session, and whether they will be able to work across the aisle for Indian Country.


NPR

Wyoming voters reminded everyone that it's still a strongly red state. Republicans won the majority of races and three incumbent Democrats were defeated.

Cynthia Lummis

Cheyenne Republican Cynthia Lummis has won the U.S. Senate race in Wyoming. Lummis is a seasoned political figure in the state who served in the U.S. House for eight years from 2009 to 2017 and before that in the state legislature. 

Luke Anderson

Reporter Nate Hegyi listened to a lot of people in the rural West during his nearly 800-mile bicycle ride along the continental divide. And he heard a few things… over and over again… that gave him pause. Facts… that weren't facts.

In this bonus episode he checks in with the Mountain West News Bureau's Managing Editor Kate Concannon to review these recurring "factoids".

Wyoming Legislature

Gillette State Rep. Roy Edwards has died. The Casper Star Tribune reported on Monday afternoon the 66-year-old died on that morning after a week-long struggle with an unspecified illness.

CREDIT WYOFILE/FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in our state, thousands of Wyomingites will be sick with the coronavirus or under quarantine orders on Election Day. That doesn't mean that they can't cast a ballot.

Wyoming Secretary of State's Office

A University of Wyoming survey shows that Wyomingites favor the president and two other republican candidates for federal office ahead of Tuesday's election.

Luke Anderson

There's a dominant culture in the rural Mountain West. Reporter Nate Hegyi explores who fits in... and who doesn't.

Lynette Greybull and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney

On Tuesday, Nov. 3, Wyoming will vote to send two women to congress. Former Republican Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis is running against University of Wyoming Professor Merav Ben-David for retiring Sen. Mike Enzi's U.S. Senate seat. The two differ on almost everything, especially when it comes to health care, climate change and the future of Wyoming's economy.

On the House side, two-term U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney is facing off against Democrat Lynette Greybull who is the first known Native American to seek a Wyoming congressional seat. Greybull told Wyoming Public Radio that she's used her time in the limelight to target some key issues.

Talia Mayden of HUMAN

About a week before Election Day, as the Wind River Reservation was bracing for snow, Wyoming state Rep. Andi Clifford squeezed in some roadside campaigning outside of a community hall in Arapahoe.

"Normally we would've been inside," she said. "But we can't, so we're out here."

Last weekend, as the Wind River Reservation was bracing for snow, Wyoming State Rep. Andi Clifford was squeezing in some campaigning in the parking lot of Great Plains Hall in Arapahoe. 

Caitlin McCoy

Biden's stance on fracking has been all over the news; that the Democratic presidential candidate would prohibit the practice on federal land, while allowing current permits to continue. The presidential election is also expected to impact U.S. coal markets - either way it breaks.

Wyoming Public Radio's Cooper McKim spoke with Caitlin McCoy, a staff attorney at Harvard Law School's environmental and energy law program, about what that might look like.

President Donald Trump is finding ways to continue reaching voters in Nevada through rallies, even as COVID-19 cases climb and state restrictions limit crowds.

Read in English.

Mientras se aproxima el día electoral, algunos estados en Mountain West se están preparando para una posible violencia e intimidación a los votantes, a raíz de la retórica del presidente Donald Trump.

Alan Simpson

Former U.S. Senator Al Simpson is in stable condition after experiencing a minor stroke Monday night. His son Colin said his mother noticed a change of character when she asked him to say his name earlier that day.

Simpson didn’t respond immediately so she called Cody Regional Hospital. He was flown to Denver the next day. Colin said his father is still at the hospital receiving tests and being evaluated for any other risks. He said his father is back to his old self now.

Legal challenges and accusations of fraud are just a couple of the issues seeding doubt about a clear winner in the presidential race on Election Day. 

“My advice for voters this year is patience,” said Ken Miller, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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