Gordon Visits Wyoming Range
On horseback Mark Gordon went into the Wyoming Range on Friday, June 20th to see the area and take a look at proposed lease sites. It also gave Gordon a chance to speak with local outfitters about their views on how best to proceed.
"The Wyoming Range is one of our treasures," Gordon said. "While it is world class habitat for wildlife the Wyoming Range also sits on a world class resource of natural gas. We must approach development here prudently so neither value is compromised."
Gordon, a Republican, is a businessman and a rancher who grew up in Kaycee at the foot of the Big Horns. "I spent a lot of time when I was young enjoying the mountains and I want to ensure they are still as special for my children and grandchildren as they were for me. Whatever happens in the Wyoming Range I want to make sure we use the utmost care and take advantage of the newest and best technologies that reduce our footprint," Gordon said. "For example the company I worked for, Apache Energy, has been able to directionally drill nearly six miles from the wellhead. There are tools available that can minimize the impact."
Gordon has been talking to geologists and others about the opportunities inherent in the Wyoming Range and he is scheduled to meet with representatives of several companies to hear their opinions about ways to proceed there. Gordon also hopes to speak with Senator Barrasso to discuss the intricacies of the bill the Senator has sponsored, which prohibits further leasing in the Wyoming Range.
"Right now I believe there is a way we can balance all of the hopes for the Wyoming Range," Gordon said. "I want an overall understanding of the possibilities; not a rush to judgment on an issue this important to Wyoming. That is the way I work, I want to hear from all sides and have a thorough understanding of what is at stake. That takes work and commitment, but that is what Wyoming people expect."
Gordon's trip into the Wyoming Range came on the heels of the Wyoming Mining Association candidate forum. Gordon said he appreciates having had the opportunity to speak to that group, which plays such an important role in the state's economy. "When I was the chair of the state's Environmental Quality Council I was impressed by the good stewardship of the mining industry," Gordon said. "That is one reason why I fought so hard to assure that reclamation practices in Wyoming would be tailored to local circumstances on such things as highwalls where these features can be of great value as wildlife habitat. That is an example of how I have spent my life trying to find common sense solutions and working across the spectrum."
One topic which came up at the Mining Association forum was cap and trade legislation. This year Senators Warner and Lieberman sponsored a bill creating a policy to deal with carbon. Gordon does not support that bill because he thinks it is too onerous on consumers and producers. "Both presidential presumptive nominees support some sort of cap and trade bill," Gordon points out. "So, I know we will debate that policy in Congress next year. It will be important that Wyoming's Representative in the U.S. House works to make sure Wyoming's interests are forcefully represented in that debate. Irresponsible attempts to tax energy or limit development must be defeated."
This year the Wyoming legislature passed a bill addressing carbon sequestration. Gordon says that is model legislation for the country. He will also push to find ways to incentivize new technologies that use Wyoming coal, which is the cleanest in the country. "There are so many ways we can keep our economy strong and keep our standard of living," Gordon said. "I will not accept that we have to choose between protecting the state we love and having a burgeoning economy. We can have both."