Governor Gordon signs bills supporting energy, agriculture priorities

Wyoming News February 9, 2021

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Governor Gordon signs bills supporting energy, agriculture priorities

CHEYENNE, WYO. – Governor Mark Gordon signed the first two bills of the eight-day virtual legislative session on Monday. The bills are pieces of legislation that Governor Gordon supported and that provide a boost to the state’s energy, minerals and agricultural industries. The new laws direct the Wyoming Energy Authority to support efforts to expand the state’s rare earth minerals industry and implement recommendations made by his Invasive Species Initiative.

“These bills reflect my commitment to strengthen and expand our energy industry and address the challenges posed by terrestrial invasive species,” Governor Gordon said. “This is a positive next step in our effort to strengthen Wyoming’s economy.”

Senate File 43, Wyoming Energy Authority Amendments adds geothermal and pumped hydro energy projects to the list of projects that can be supported by the Wyoming Energy Authority (WEA). The changes also allow the WEA to support and issue bonds, under their existing authority, for projects involving rare earth minerals, critical materials, trona and other minerals.

The Governor also signed House Bill 53 Invasive Plant Species today. The legislation implements several of the recommendations made in the final report of the Governor’s Invasive Species Initiative and allows local districts more latitude when implementing special management programs for invasive species.

“Invasive species are a concern for our producers, managers and indeed our land,” the Governor said. “This bill gives Weed and Pest districts more ability to work with state, federal, and private managers and increase our impact on invasive plant species throughout the state”

The Governor also signed other bills that support and add to Wyoming’s economy in the coming year. Those include approval of large projects for wildlife conservation and water development. These projects bolster the economy through construction, and the long-term benefits will also support wildlife, tourism, agriculture and highway safety. These bills are: SF 37, HB 44, and HB 66.

“These bills improve the quality of life for all Wyoming citizens and directly support two of the pillars of our economy – tourism and agriculture,” Governor Gordon said. “In addition to the long-term benefits of improved habitat, water and irrigation infrastructure in the coming years, they use special revenue to provide additional economic stimulus to the communities where the work is being performed.”

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