Governor Gordon and DEQ Reject Federal Funds That Are Not in the State’s Interest

Dec 5, 2023 | Featured, Regional News

Cheyenne, WY (RELEASE) December 5th, 2023 — Governor Mark Gordon in consultation with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ)  has informed the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that Wyoming will not pursue funding from the EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grant program (CPRG).  In a letter to EPA, Governor Gordon cited EPA’s decision to remove flexibility for the state to utilize the awarded dollars to the best interest of Wyoming.

Wyoming spent significant time and effort developing and submitting a proposal referred to as the “Cowboy State Pollution Reduction Plan”. After EPA stated that Wyoming’s $3 million application was approved, the WDEQ learned that EPA had unilaterally changed Wyoming’s work plan description. After months of efforts to work with EPA to resolve this issue, it became apparent to Wyoming that the time and effort to comply with the EPA process would far outweigh the benefit to Wyoming citizens.

“In contemplating whether to enter into a grant agreement, it is important to consider what is in the best interests of Wyoming,” Governor Gordon said. “EPA has repeatedly shown an unwillingness to work with the State in advance of proposing multiple new federal rules, and given Wyoming unreasonable time frames to comment on the impacts of those rules.”

Although the CPRG was originally promoted as a Cooperative Agreement, allowing the EPA and WDEQ to work as partners, Governor Gordon noted that EPA elected to move this funding to a grant program, which removes flexibility for the state to use the grant to reduce emissions and still harness the full value of Wyoming’s energy resources.   

“For Wyoming, this amounts to a classic bait and switch, with the end result being Wyoming could spend $3 million in taxpayer dollars for the possibility of a $2 million dollar grant that would not address Wyoming’s needs,” Governor Gordon said.

In a letter to EPA withdrawing the state’s application, Governor Gordon wrote that “Wyoming will continue to direct its resources toward removing federal roadblocks that stand in the way of common-sense, lower cost solutions that use innovations tailored to meet the needs of Wyoming’s citizens and industry, across the entire energy spectrum.”

A copy of Governor Gordon’s letter to EPA is available here.