Gordon signed bill to help advance rare Earth elements mining in Wyoming

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Photo from https://governor.wyo.gov/home of Governor Gordon

Wyo4News Staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]

CHEYENNE, WYOMING — Governor Mark Gordon signed a bill to advance Wyoming’s leadership on developing rare earth and critical minerals.  

At a ceremony in the Capitol, the Governor signed into law a bill giving Wyoming primacy to permit and regulate parts of the rare earth and critical minerals industry. House Bill 0061 amends the existing Agreement State Status with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to allow Wyoming the permitting and regulatory authority for rare earth elements source materials. The Legislature passed this bill with unanimous support and today, the Governor signed both HB 0061 and sent a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The Governor also signed House Bill 0018 – Missing person alert systems. Sponsored by the Select Committee on Tribal Relations, the bill aids in the administrative establishment of a new Ashanti Alert. The alert will function similarly to an Amber alert, sending out rapid notifications to cell phones and other media regarding missing adults. Local law enforcement can request these alerts, which will be initiated statewide by the Wyoming Highway Patrol upon meeting specific alert criteria. The legislation came from the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Task Force the Governor established. 

Governor Gordon exercised his veto authority on House Bill 0106 – Eminent domain-wind energy collector systems. The Governor said that the bill’s nine-year moratorium on the use of eminent domain is likely to stall development in Wyoming. Previously the moratorium had only been in place for two years at a time. He also expressed concern that the bill would interfere with the rights of private landowners to exercise their private property and contractual rights, as well as their right to contract with whomever they choose. He noted that many ranchers and farmers in Wyoming have successfully negotiated with wind developers and are enhancing the ability of their lands to provide income for their families. While recognizing eminent domain is a delicate issue, the Governor asked the Legislature to examine the use of eminent domain authority, and then revisit the need for a moratorium in a future session and consider a shorter moratorium if it is necessary.

The Governor vetoed the following bill. His veto letter is attached and linked below.

HEA0033 HB0106 Eminent domain-wind energy collector systems.

The full list of bills the Governor has taken action on during the 2023 Legislative Session can be found on the Governor’s website.