As part of a 5th generation family of Wyomingites I believe it is important to be honest about who we are electing to move our state forward. In 2016, I and many others witnessed and were part of families that experienced massive layoffs. I went to many functions to advocate for the hardworking families of Wyoming all over our state. While doing so, I witnessed people from the Sierra Club and other “green” organizations lie about the coal, oil, and gas industries, painting the positive work of our legacy industries in a dark light. I witnessed people who claimed to be members of these same groups project their cognitive distortions to elected officials in order to sway the making of public policy. Wyoming currently has two candidates in the Republican governor’s race that have affiliated themselves with these very organizations. I don’t want anyone to be fooled about who they are voting for in Wyoming and what that means for families like mine.
One of those candidates is Mark Gordon. Mr. Gordon says that he is a “life-long conservative” and a big advocate for Wyoming’s coal, oil, and natural gas industries. However, Mark has a long history of affiliations with and donations to extreme anti-fossil fuel environmental groups. His connection to the very groups that helped bring this state to its knees and his apparent hypocrisy worries me. The following are examples of the organizations that he has been an active part of and to which he has donated substantially.
The first group is The Nature Conservancy. In its 2012 annual report (https://www.nature.org/…/col…/2012-wyoming-annual-report.pdf) the Wyoming Chapter of The Nature Conservancy lists Mark Gordon as a donor in the $10,000 to $99,999 category. Mark was also a board member of this group from 2007 to 2012. This bothers me for several reasons. Firstly, Mr. Gordon became the Wyoming State Treasurer in 2012, and at the same time he was donating money to an organization that uses conservation easements to “prevent development from taking place on the land in perpetuity”. To give you a flavor of this group’s ideology, here (https://blog.nature.org/…/supreme-courts-stay-on-clean-pow…/) is an article written by The Nature Conservancy which says that “we need federal policy that strengthens the Clean Power Plan and puts a price on carbon, either through a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade program. These kinds of policies would accelerate our country’s transition to a low-carbon economy.” Ask yourself this: would someone who supports Wyoming’s coal, oil, and gas industries also support a group that advocates for an “accelerated” transition to a low carbon economy?
A second group that concerns me greatly is The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). In its 2010 magazine release (https://rmi.org/…/…/06/RMI_Solutions_Journal_Summer_2010.pdf), RMI listed Mark Gordon as a donor in the $1000 to $4,999 category and a member of RMI’s National Solutions Council, “a collaborative community of donors committed to understanding, supporting, and advancing RMI’s work to create transformational change.” So what is RMI’s “work”? In the same magazine release that features Mark Gordon’s name, it states “Rocky Mountain Institute is committed to getting the United States off fossil fuels.” And the ideology of this organization hasn’t changed. Currently affiliated with Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room, RMI’s mission statement reads as follow: “Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.” In fact, you can read here (https://www.rmi.org/amory_lovins_xconomy/) about RMI’s plan to have a no-coal, no-oil, no-nuclear future by 2050. Essentially, we all must purchase electric cars (I’m not sure how they would be charged), find new jobs, and live without coal or oil. Obviously, this is completely unrealistic and would have disastrous social and economic impacts. You can read more about RMI and its philosophy at (https://www.rmi.org/).
Mr. Gordon has been donating to individuals seeking to advance this anti-fossil fuel agenda for some time. In 2006 Mark donated $1000 to Democrat Gary Trauner for Congress (I’m sure you are aware that Mr. Trauner is currently challenging Senator John Barrasso for his seat in the U.S. Senate). In 2004 Mark donated $2500 to the Democratic National Committee, $2000 to John Kerry for President, and $1000 to Democrat Ted Ladd for Congress. Mark was also the Chairman of the Wyoming Chapter of the Sierra Club in the early 1980’s and donated over $6,000 to that organization. Finally, although Mark says that he believes in Wyoming’s right to manage its wildlife populations, he donated $500 to Congressman Wayne Owens, the self-proclaimed “father of wolf reintroduction” to Yellowstone National Park. These donations demonstrate over and over that Mark is aligned with democrats and their desire to eliminate our legacy industries in Wyoming. (NOTE: the source of Gordon’s contribution data is the Federal Elections Commission contribution database).
I believe that a person who has dedicated their career and serious money to organizations and individuals that worked to bankrupt the very industries that have built this state and supported its people is wrong. Not only is it wrong, I believe it is immoral. As we go to the ballot box, we must cautiously evaluate the backgrounds of each of these candidates and ask ourselves if their statements today align with their record. I hope you can see that in the case of Mark Gordon, there couldn’t be a bigger difference between the two.
I am supporting Harriet Hageman for Governor because she has fought and won against the EPA and other overreaching federal agencies. She understands that to get Wyoming businesses moving forward (in ANY industry area) we must deregulate. I want my three children to have a future in this state if they choose to. Mrs. Hageman’s past speaks for her. She has fought for people like me and for the industries that fund our public services. Please join me in supporting Harriet Hageman for Governor.