Wyoming governor’s speech erupts into fight over future of fossil fuels, carbon capture

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon sparked a backlash from state lawmakers when he discussed plans to make the Cowboy State carbon dioxide-neutral during a talk at Harvard last month.

The governor added that the problem won’t be solved by turning off fossil fuels, and he promoted the use of carbon capture and sequestration. These technologies either capture carbon dioxide (CO2) at the source, such as the exhaust stack at a coal plant, or directly suck it out of the atmosphere. The captured gas is then stored underground in geological formations.

Using carbon capture, the utility determined, would also increase residential and commercial customers’ energy bills by 15%.

The Cowboy State, with a half million residents, produces 12 times more energy than it consumes, including 40% of the coal production in the United States. It also has a large oil and gas industry.

After Fox News reported on Gordon’s comments at Harvard, the Wyoming Freedom Caucus legislators and the Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray signed a letter challenging Gordon to a debate with members of the CO2 Coalition. The coalition is a nonprofit organization that disputes that carbon dioxide is the primary cause of rising temperatures and that increases in CO2 are without benefits. These benefits, the group argues, include global greening, a phenomenon confirmed by NASA in which plant life globally is being stimulated as a result of increased concentrations of greenhouse gasses.

Its leadership includes a number of scientists, such as Dr. John Clauser, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2022. “While climate alarmists claim to act “based on the science,” oddly they do not encourage or join
in debate with those who have different views. We believe that in Wyoming, we are better than that,” the letter challenging Gordon to a debate stated.

Read the entire commentary here.

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