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Wyoming Republicans slam Gordon for remarks on climate change

By Jake Beardslee · October 26, 2023

In brief…

  • At Harvard, Gordon said Wyoming would cut emissions and address "warming climate" urgently
  • Critics say Gordon shouldn't acknowledge climate change given state's dependence on fossil fuels
  • Wyoming gets over 70% of electricity from coal but Gordon has expanded wind power
  • Gordon's spokesperson says he aims to address climate change while supporting fossil fuels
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon was criticized by Republicans in his state for comments acknowledging climate change and pledging carbon emission reductions at an event at Harvard University.  MikesGroover/Wikimedia

Republican Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon recently faced backlash for comments he made at Harvard University, where he stated Wyoming would reduce carbon emissions and address climate change with urgency. At an event for Harvard’s Kennedy School Institute of Politics, Gordon promoted his “Decarbonizing the West” initiative and said “It is clear that we have a warming climate. It is clear that carbon dioxide is a major contributor to that challenge. There is an urgency to addressing this issue.”

Gordon highlighted carbon capture, forest management, nuclear power, and geothermal energy as climate solutions. As chairman of the Western Governors’ Association, he has advocated for green energy development in the past. Gordon was criticized by Republican state Rep. John Bear, who chairs the Wyoming Freedom Caucus. Bear told Fox News Digital that Wyoming’s economy depends on fossil fuels and that Gordon shouldn’t “give an inch” to anti-fossil fuel interests by acknowledging climate change.

Wyoming leads the nation in coal production and is a major oil and gas producer. In 2022, 72% of Wyoming’s electricity came from coal power plants. Gordon has expanded wind power, which now provides over 20% of the state’s electricity. Gordon’s spokesperson said the governor supports fossil fuels and is taking a pragmatic approach by addressing climate change and maintaining the fossil fuel industry.