WRIGHT, Wyo. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), welcomed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to Wyoming coal country. Barrasso invited Pruitt to visit Wyoming. Pruitt’s visit demonstrates a shared commitment to Wyoming natural resources powering the U.S. economy. Barrasso, Pruitt, and fellow Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi toured Black Thunder coal mine in Campbell County, Wyo.
Barrasso invited Campbell County Board of Commissioners Chairman Mark Christensen, Gillette Mayor Louise Carter-King, and Wright Mayor Ralph Kingman to join him on the tour.
“Today was a special opportunity to reiterate our shared commitment to Wyoming coal, oil, natural gas, and other resources that will power our American economy for generations to come,” Barrasso said. “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt saw firsthand the state-of-the-art coal operations taking place every day in Wyoming. Just as important, he met the hard working men and women who provide America with affordable and reliable power.
“Administrator Pruitt saw up close the impressive reclamation work being done at Wyoming’s mines to protect and restore the environment. Carbon capture technology will also play an important role in keeping coal clean and sustainable for the future.
“I am glad that Administrator Pruitt got to visit the mine and this community. I am thankful to Black Thunder mine for hosting us and to Administrator Pruitt for accepting my invitation to come to Wyoming,” said Barrasso.
“It's important to be in Wyoming coal country to see firsthand how they protect and steward the abundant natural resources with which they've been blessed,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Sen. Barrasso is a strong partner in EPA's efforts to roll back the misguided policies of the past and provide regulatory clarity and certainty to the energy producers of Wyoming.”
“I appreciate Administrator Pruitt travelling to Wyoming, and my hometown, to see the best coal in the nation,” Enzi said. “I am glad we now have an Administration that is willing to work with our nation’s energy producers. As the former Mayor of Gillette, I helped these mines get permitted and know firsthand their pristine environmental track record and the benefits they bring to the community.”
Wyoming is the nation’s leading producer of coal, accounting for about 40 percent of America’s total coal production. In 2016, coal production employed 5,682 workers in Wyoming. More than 80 percent of those workers were located in Campbell County.
On March 27, 2018, the EPA held a listening session in Gillette, WY on the proposed repeal of the Obama administration’s so-called Clean Power Plan regulation (CPP). On October 10, 2017, the EPA published a draft rule to repeal the CPP.
On March 22, 2017, Barrasso joined with Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to introduce the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act. The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). The USE IT Act would support carbon utilization and direct air capture research. The bill would also support federal, state, and non-governmental collaboration in the construction and development of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) facilities and carbon dioxide (CO2) pipelines.