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Wyoming Sues California Because It is Fed Up With the Effects of Its Energy Policies


Wyoming has had enough of having to deal with the effects of California’s energy policies and wants to leave.

Thursday, Gov. Mark Gordon said that Wyoming has joined a case brought by Alabama and 19 other states asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that the energy policies of five Democratic-majority states, including California, are unconstitutional.

The lawsuit says that California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island have sued the country’s most important energy companies in a way that has never been done before because of climate change, seeking billions of dollars in damages and compensation.

Also, it says that traditional fossil fuels are important for American wealth and that federalism says that no state should have more power than any other.

He said in a statement on Thursday, “Wyoming’s core industries are under attack, not only from the federal government but also from other states that depend on the resources that we produce.” “We will defend our industries in court and watch out for other states that try to make national energy policy outside of their own borders.”

Gordon said that he supports the right of each state to make its own decisions, but he can’t ignore it when other states do things that he thinks could affect Wyoming’s policies.

“That very idea is against our Constitution,” he said.

Work in the Blue States

Over the last six years, the five blue states have sued fossil fuel companies on a number of different grounds to try to get them to take responsibility for climate change.

California sued ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and the American Petroleum Institute in 2023, saying they lied to the public about how fossil fuels hurt the climate.

In 2020, Minnesota sued ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute, and three Koch Industries companies for allegedly misleading and defrauding Minnesotans about the risks of their products linked to climate change.

In answer to climate change, the new filing says these efforts are the same as trying to put a global carbon tax on the country’s old energy industries.

“In their view, a small gas station in the middle of nowhere Alabama might owe money to the people of Minnesota just for selling a gallon of gas,” the document says.

Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia are all joining Wyoming in the new case.

The Supreme Court will choose if it wants to hear the case.

This case is not the only one of its kind. In 2022, 17 states questioned California’s right to set zero-emissions goals and car emission standards linked to climate change. These goals were supported by the Environmental Protection Agency at the time.

In April, Wyoming joined a lawsuit brought to the Supreme Court by Alabama that asked the court to look into a lawsuit brought by the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii. This lawsuit also wants to fine the energy business billions of dollars.

Honolulu says the companies lied to customers about how much pollution daily items like gas cause. That case has not been heard by the Supreme Court yet.

Gordon and the Weather

Some people may be surprised that Gordon has sued Wyoming because he said at Harvard University in late 2023 that the Cowboy State needs to become carbon-negative right away to fight climate change.

Soon after, the Wyoming Republican Party had a vote of “no confidence” against Gordon.

The tone of Thursday’s press statement is different; it doesn’t believe that climate change is a crisis.

Gordon has also made it clear that he is against carbon emissions and wants Wyoming to improve its energy technology so that the state can help the environment without having to cut back on production.

He has always supported a “all of the above” energy platform, which means that he wants to see equal support for both standard fossil fuels and alternative energies.

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