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Governor Mead Applauds EPA Decision on Clean Power Plan

posted Oct 10, 2017, 3:33 PM by David Bush   [ updated Oct 10, 2017, 3:33 PM ]



October 10, 2017

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead voiced his support of the initial step taken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today to rescind the Clean Power Plan (CPP). EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed the notice of proposed rulemaking which formally begins the process of repealing the CPP. Wyoming has objected to the plan since it was issued in 2014.

“The process that gave us the Clean Power Plan was flawed and the rule itself is flawed,” said Governor Mead. “As I’ve said all along, the agency overstepped its authority in creating this rule. It is overly burdensome for industry and removes regulatory authority from the states. We now have an opportunity to work with the EPA as the process goes forward. I appreciate Administrator Pruitt taking this action – it is important and a catalyst for growth.”

Under the CPP, Wyoming would have to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 44%. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay and stopped implementation of the rule while a lower court considered a lawsuit filed by Wyoming and 26 other states to strike it down. The states argued the EPA did not have the proper authority to issue the rule; the Clean Power Plan would take authority away from states to regulate in-state power generation and transmission; and the final rule was substantially different from its draft version - a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

A 60 day comment period begins once the latest rule to repeal the CPP has been published in the Federal Register. Comments can then be submitted at http://www.regulations.gov.


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Governor Mead Comments on Bureau of Land Management Announcements

posted Oct 5, 2017, 3:43 PM by David Bush   [ updated Oct 5, 2017, 3:43 PM ]



October 5, 2017

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that the agency will no longer consider removing millions of acres of land for hard rock mining in sage-grouse habitat across six states. This action means 265,000 acres in Wyoming will not be withdrawn from hard rock mining. 

“The BLM’s original proposal put at risk potential future development that could have brought the state millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs. That proposal was unnecessary because Wyoming already has a system in place that protects sage-grouse while allowing for development of these minerals,” said Governor Mead. “I thank Secretary Zinke for cancelling the proposal.”

The BLM also announced the agency will be taking public comment on the federal Greater sage-grouse management plans. The plans affect the management of sage-grouse habitat across millions of acres in 10 Western states. Wyoming is home to approximately 42% of the range-wide population.

“We’re roughly two years into having sage-grouse not listed under the Endangered Species Act. This is a good thing for the bird and energy development. As BLM looks to make changes to its federal plans, I would encourage the agency to find ways to better align with Wyoming’s state plan,” continued Governor Mead. “Folks representing energy, agriculture, recreation and conservation all came together to help frame the state’s plan to ensure a strong habitat for sage-grouse in Wyoming. There are positive changes that can be made to the federal plans, but we should be careful and thoughtful about how we do that. Wyoming will be engaged in this process and will continue to work with the BLM.”

This federal plan review process is important to Wyoming. For more information or to submit comments to the BLM, please visit http://bit.ly/GRSGplanning.

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Governor's Business Forum set for November 7-9 in Cheyenne

posted Sep 25, 2017, 2:51 PM by David Bush   [ updated Sep 25, 2017, 2:51 PM ]



September 25, 2017

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead will kick off the annual Governor's Business Forum, which takes place November 7-9, 2017 at the Little America Hotel and Resort in Cheyenne. This year the forum focuses on how Wyoming can use innovation and entrepreneurship to improve the state’s economy.

"The business forum always features a diverse group of speakers and subjects," said Governor Mead. “It provides a great opportunity to hear from leaders with business experience as we continue our efforts to expand and diversify Wyoming’s economy long term through ENDOW.”

The Wyoming Business Alliance/Wyoming Heritage Foundation co-hosts the Governor's Business Forum. The 2017 Forum includes nationally recognized speakers such as Yaron Brook, Executive Chairman of Ayn Rand Institute, Nicole Kaeding, an economist with the Tax Foundation, and national fiscal transparency expert Adam Andrzejewski, Founder and CEO of Openthebooks.com.   

"With the dynamics of Wyoming's industries changing, we must focus on innovation and fostering our entrepreneurial spirit to broaden fiscal opportunities in our traditional industries," said Cindy DeLancey, President of the Wyoming Business Alliance/Wyoming Heritage Foundation. "We are combining national fiscal and trade experts and Wyoming experts along with tech firms, ag innovators, leaders in the tourism and natural resource industries and local community efforts to highlight a path to move forward."

For the first time this year the forum will feature a web app which will allow attendees to stay connected with fellow business leaders and speakers beyond the conference.

A November 8th dinner will celebrate the Wyoming Business Hall of Fame inductees. The Business Hall of Fame is a cooperative project of the University of Wyoming’s College of Business, the Wyoming Business Alliance/Wyoming Heritage Foundation, and the Wyoming Business Council.

For more information and to register, please go to www.wyomingbusinessalliance.com.

 

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Governor Mead Submits Comments on Southwest Wyoming Natural Gas Project

posted Aug 30, 2017, 2:18 PM by David Bush   [ updated Aug 30, 2017, 2:19 PM ]



August 30, 2017

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released its draft environmental review of the Normally Pressured Lance (NPL) natural gas project in southwest Wyoming. The NPL Project anticipates drilling up to 3,500 natural gas wells, which will produce over 5 trillion cubic feet of gas and create more than 700 full-time jobs.

“This is significant for Wyoming,” Governor Mead said. “Permitting new oil and gas projects is a priority and NPL is a great opportunity.”

In his letter to BLM, the Governor encouraged the agency to “…issue its Record of Decision by the end of the year to avoid further costly delays that negatively affect the State’s economic prosperity."

In addition to NPL, the Record of Decision for the Continental Divide-Creston was completed last September, giving preliminary authorization to develop up to 8,950 wells in the Wamsutter area. Other oil and gas development projects undergoing federal review include the Converse County project, the Greater Crossbow project and the Moneta Divide project.

Governor Mead’s letter to the BLM on NPL is available on his website: http://governor.wyo.gov/documents


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Governor Mead Appoints New State Geologist

posted Aug 30, 2017, 2:07 PM by David Bush   [ updated Aug 30, 2017, 2:08 PM ]



August 25, 2017

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead announced today that he has appointed Erin Campbell of Laramie as the new Wyoming State Geologist and Director of the Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS). Campbell replaces Tom Drean who is retiring after leading the WSGS for the past six years.

She currently works at WSGS as the Manager of Energy and Minerals Resources and will officially take over as director on November 21. Along with heading the WSGS, the Director serves on the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC) and the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG).

“Tom has been an effective leader for the agency and a valued member of the WOGCC and CREG,” said Governor Mead. “I thank him for his exemplary service to Wyoming and wish him all the best.”

"Serving as the State Geologist and Director of the Geological Survey has been a dream job given the geologic wonderland that Wyoming is,” said Drean. “It has been a great honor and privilege to serve the Governor and the State of Wyoming and I am forever thankful to those I have had the pleasure of working with. Wyoming is blessed to have such great people."

Erin Campbell has a B.A. in Geology from Occidental College in Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Wyoming. Prior to working at WSGS, she worked for Chevron and as a lecturer at UW. She is the first woman to be named State Geologist.

“Erin’s experience and her knowledge of Wyoming are impressive. I am confident she will do a great job leading the agency,” said Governor Mead.

“I am truly honored to have the opportunity to serve as Wyoming State Geologist. I plan to continue Tom Drean’s good work and carry the Survey into the future maintaining steady focus on the needs of the state,” said Campbell.

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Cutting Red Tape: Regulatory Reform in Wyoming

posted Aug 8, 2017, 1:24 PM by David Bush   [ updated Aug 8, 2017, 1:24 PM ]



August 8, 2017

By Governor Matt Mead

If we need to know whether municipal landfills must be tested for groundwater contamination or if hunters with physical disabilities can hunt from stationary vehicles or whether importers can bring one-hump camels into the state, the answers should not be buried in government regulations.  Regulations should be easily available, understandable and assist us in complying.  When rules and regulations are obscure, overly complicated or difficult to find, state government is not doing its job.  Rules that do not serve the public interest should be rooted out.  Fewer and more clear-cut rules reduce the burden on people and businesses, while accomplishing their goal. 

In 2013, as part of my commitment to streamline government, I asked state agencies to reduce existing rules by one-third in number and one-third in length.  Regulations should be limited to those that are necessary and effective.  I urged agencies to use more precise, plain language, and to eliminate rules that no longer served their original purpose.  Wyoming has made major progress.  Most agencies have reduced rules by the one-third in the number and length.  Many agencies have been able to eliminate fifty percent or more of their regulations.  This means simpler, more accessible rules -rules necessary to do business and provide protection without the excess. 

Another success of this initiative is the creation of a new administrative rules website maintained by the Secretary of State’s Office and found at https://rules.wyo.gov.  In years past, searching for state rules could be like looking for a needle in a haystack.  Determining which agency maintained which rules was time consuming and laborious.  This website makes it easy to find current, proposed and past rules.  As an example, if you need to find rules on public swimming pool health and safety, a simple and swift key word search on the new website leads to the Department of Agriculture’s regulations on the subject.  All administrative rules and rules history are searchable online and available to anyone.  Public comment on proposed rules may be made directly using the public comment link on the website.  

Uniform rules have been adopted for actions that are common among various agencies.  Contested cases are one example.  Historically, each agency had agency specific contested case rules.  One agency might allow 45 days to file an objection, another agency 30 days.  The lack of uniformity and consistency was confusing.  Now uniform rules apply to contested case practice and procedure.  Another good illustration is public records requests.  Agencies receive many requests under the Wyoming Public Records Act ranging from correspondence on homelessness to grizzly bear and gray wolf management. Procedures varied widely agency to agency.  Now, uniform rules on procedures and fees related to inspection, copying and production of public documents are being adopted by agencies.  This will provide greater accountability, easier access and more effective protections. 

As for landfills, disabled hunters and one-hump camels, a few clicks on the state’s new rules website reveals that every municipal landfill is tested for groundwater contamination, hunters with physical disabilities may obtain permits to shoot wildlife from stationary vehicles not located on public roadways, and disease free camels may legally roam the Wyoming plains and prairie.  Regulatory reform and rules reduction are delivering greater accountability, discipline and transparency to state government and easing the burden on people and businesses.

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Governor Mead Reacts to Sage-Grouse Review

posted Aug 7, 2017, 4:53 PM by David Bush   [ updated Aug 7, 2017, 4:53 PM ]



August 7, 2017

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming Governor Matt Mead released the following statement on today’s announcement from the US Department of the Interior (DOI) regarding Greater Sage-Grouse management:

“Secretary Zinke and the Department of the Interior made an earnest effort to collaborate with the states during the sage-grouse management review,” said Governor Mead.  “The states have primacy over sage-grouse management and Wyoming’s plan is solid and should be allowed to work. The Wyoming approach balances energy, agriculture, conservation and recreation. The federal plans do not fully implement the Wyoming approach. While DOI identifies numerous ways to improve federal plans, I am concerned that the recommendations place more focus on population targets and captive breeding. Industry needs predictability, but the report does not explain fully how population targets provide that certainty. Wyoming will continue to rely on science and scientists to manage the species. I will continue to work with Secretary Zinke, state and local stakeholders on this issue.”

 

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Western Governors Endorse Improvements to Endangered Species Act

posted Jul 13, 2017, 10:42 AM by David Bush   [ updated Jul 13, 2017, 10:53 AM ]



July 13, 2017

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – As Chairman of the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) in 2015, Governor Matt Mead launched his Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative. Through the Initiative, the Governor sought to promote and elevate the role of states in species conservation efforts and explore ways to improve the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Over two years, the WGA held nine workshops and six webinars where a diverse group of people explored opportunities to modernize the ESA. Many of these opportunities were highlighted in a policy resolution adopted by Western Governors in June 2016. This June Western Governors adopted detailed recommendations on ESA modernization.

“I am very proud of this Initiative. My fellow Western Governors hosted workshops and webinars where over 6400 people participated, representing thousands more from myriad backgrounds,” said Governor Mead. “Through this inclusive process, we developed and adopted recommendations that can improve species conservation and the ESA for people and wildlife. I thank these Governors for their continued support of this Initiative along with the staff and the many diverse groups and people that have joined in this effort.”

The Initiative engaged groups representing agriculture, energy, sportsmen and conservationists, along with Federal, state and local governments across the West. Governor Mead and WGA will now work with Congress and the Administration to improve the ESA through policy, regulation and statute.

The Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative Year Two Report is available on the WGA’s website: http://westgov.org/images/editor/2017_ESA_Report_for_Web.pdf

Specific recommendations from the Initiative are also available on the WGA’s website: http://westgov.org/images/editor/WGA_Species_Conservation_and_ESA_Recommendations.pdf

 

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Wyoming to Join First Responder Network Authority

posted Jul 12, 2017, 2:59 PM by David Bush   [ updated Jul 12, 2017, 3:00 PM ]



July 11, 2017

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead announced today that Wyoming will join the First Responder Network Authority known as FirstNet. Congress established FirstNet in 2012 to build, operate, and maintain the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. This network has been a top priority for first responders and public safety agencies in Wyoming and throughout the country, and has been designed on their specific, expressed needs. Governor Mead sent a letter to Mike Poth, CEO of FirstNet, indicating Wyoming’s intent to participate in the plan.

“The State of Wyoming has participated in FirstNet consultation and outreach activities throughout the planning of the network and reviewed the details of the FirstNet State Plan,” wrote Governor Mead. “I have determined that it is in the best interest of Wyoming to participate in the FirstNet deployment of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network.”

FirstNet network satisfies the priorities identified by the Wyoming public safety community, rapidly provides access to public safety features, and delivers extensive population and geographic coverage.  

Pursuant to the federal law, the Governor had three options: opt-in, opt-out or do nothing. With the opt-in decision, FirstNet and AT&T take on all the risks, costs and responsibilities associated with deploying the network in Wyoming for 25 years. Wyoming is not responsible for any costs for the FirstNet network. If a state opts-out, the state is responsible for all costs and logistics associated with the network. If a state does nothing, then it defaults to opt-in.

“FirstNet will be an asset for emergency personnel across Wyoming. This is a tool that allows for better communication and faster response,” said Governor Mead.

More information on FirstNet is available on their website: firstnet.gov

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Governor Appoints New District Court Judge for the Fifth Judicial District

posted Jun 23, 2017, 1:25 PM by David Bush   [ updated Jun 23, 2017, 1:25 PM ]



June 23, 2017

CHEYENNE, WY - Governor Matt Mead has appointed William L. (Bill) Simpson to be District Court Judge for the Fifth Judicial District. Simpson fills the vacancy occurring in the District’s Park County, Cody office with the retirement of Judge Steven Cranfill effective July 31, 2017.

A graduate of Cody High School, Simpson has a Bachelor of Science degree, with honors, from the University of Wyoming and a Juris Doctor degree from the UW College of Law. He has been in private practice in Cody for 33 years - with Simpson, Kepler & Edwards beginning in 1984 upon graduating from law school, and since 2000 with Burg, Simpson, Eldredge, Hersh & Jardine. Simpson has also worked for the Wyoming Public Defender’s Office for almost three decades. His pro bono work through the years, in a variety of matters including domestic relations, child custody, family law, and indigent defendants, has been significant.   

“The Judicial Nominating Commission sent over three great candidates, making this decision very difficult,” said Governor Mead. “Bill Simpson received supportive letters from judges, fellow attorneys, a victims’ services organization, and members of the community from many walks of life, as well as from others around the state. His long and strong commitment to the Cody area, his criminal and civil legal experience acquired over decades of practice, and his considerable volunteer legal work to help those in need were important in making the final selection,” added the Governor.  

In reaction to his appointment, Simpson said: “I am truly and deeply honored by Governor Mead’s appointment. I will work as hard as I can for the people of the Fifth Judicial District – a place I know and love.”

 

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