Stop Prioritizing Coal Companies Over Climate Change

Target: Mark Gordon, Wyoming’s Governor.

Goal: Take substantial action on climate change

In 2020 Wyoming enacted climate legislation catering to fossil fuel companies in a bid to enable the coal industry to continue to thrive, even as the U.S. aims to reduce its carbon emissions. Two years later, the law isn’t addressing climate concerns and it may raise the utility bills of Wyoming residents.

The 2020 law, signed by Gov. Mark Gordon, meant many of the state’s electrical companies had to retrofit at least some of their coal-powered plants with equipment to capture carbon emissions. Otherwise, the companies wouldn’t meet the new state requirement for electrical companies to generate a portion of their power from plants fitted with sequestering equipment.

According to Inside Climate News, the practice of carbon sequestering by utility companies – adopted instead of the transition to cleaner sources of energy – could, “spike water uses at the coal plants and increase emissions of some air pollutants, as well as solid and liquid waste.” Forty percent of U.S. coal production comes from Wyoming. The requirements for utility companies to sequester carbon ultimately does little to address Wyoming’s disproportionate contribution to the climate crisis.

The coal-friendly approach in this bill is not only likely to be ineffective but may end up costing Wyoming residents more money each month. Retrofitting existing coal-powered plants would have a substantial cost for Wyoming’s utility companies, and to avoid cutting into their profit margins, these companies plan to pass increased costs on to consumers.

Wyoming’s approach to climate legislation has centered benefiting fossil fuel companies at the expense of not only its residents, but us all. Legislation like this paves the way for other states, and fossil fuel companies, to appear to be tackling climate change, while continuing harmful environmental practices and maintaining their substantial profits. Sign this petition to call on Wyoming’s Governor to take real action on climate change.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Gordon,

Wyoming accounts for 40% of the U.S.’s total coal production. This is an outsized portion of the United States’ total contribution to the climate crisis. Given this reality, Wyoming should be leading the way on implementing climate legislation to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change.

In 2020, you signed climate legislation that prioritized coal profits over substantial action. Not only is the substitution of carbon sequestering for introducing green energy sources likely to add to coming water shortages and increase the pollutants introduced into our environment, but it is also likely to increase financial costs for the residents of your state. This law protects the interests of your state’s fossil fuel companies at the expense of the people you were elected to serve. I urge you to stop catering to coal companies and push for legislation in your state that would actually address the climate crisis.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Lorie Shaull


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