Gov. Gordon Signs Bill to Help Advance Rare Earth Elements Mining in Wyoming
Gov. Mark Gordon on Tuesday signed a bill to advance Wyoming’s leadership on developing rare earth and critical minerals, according to a news release from his office.
He also signed into law 24 other bills.
At a ceremony in the Capitol, Gordon signed House Bill 0061, which gives Wyoming primacy to permit and regulate parts of the rare earth and critical minerals industry.
It 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.
The Wyoming State Geological Survey published a report in 2016 about rare earth elements and potential deposits in the state. REEs are a group of 17 metallic elements with similar physical and chemical properties that occur together in the periodic table. They are used in cellular telephones, computer hard drives, electric and hybrid vehicles, and flat-screen monitors and televisions.
The Governor also signed House Bill 0018 - Missing person alert systems.
The Select Committee on Tribal Relations sponsored the bill, which aids in the establishment of a new Ashanti Alert. It will function like 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 established by Gordon.
Despite signing these bills into law, the governor vetoed House Bill 0106 - Eminent domain-wind energy collector systems.
The bill’s nine-year moratorium on the use of eminent domain is likely to stall development in Wyoming, he said.
Previously, the moratorium had only been in place for two years at a time.
Gordon also wondered whether the bill would interfere with landowners who exercise their private property and contractual rights, as well as their right to contract with whomever they choose.
Many ranchers and farmers have successfully negotiated with wind developers and are enhancing the ability of their lands to provide income for their families, Gordon said.
While recognizing eminent domain is a delicate issue, he asked the Legislature to examine the use of eminent domain authority, revisit the need for a moratorium in a future session and consider a shorter moratorium if necessary.
Read his veto letter here.
Gordon also signed these bills into law on Tuesday:
Enrolled Act Number -- Bill Number -- Bill Title
- EA0021 HB0020 -- Land exchanges-notice.
- HEA0023 HB0181 -- Online sports wagering-amendments.
- HEA0024 HB0013 -- Office of guardian ad litem-program references.
- HEA0025 HB0079 -- Voter I.D. requirements.
- HEA0026 HB0175 -- Excused absence-state fair events.
- HEA0027 HB0086 -- Disclosure of private cryptographic keys.
- HEA0028 HB0057 -- Armed forces-amendments.
- HEA0029 HB0015 -- County authority to dissolve museum boards-clarification.
- HEA0030 HB0005 -- Voter registry list-voter ID and absentee ballots.
- HEA0031 HB0239 -- Vehicle idling-decriminalization.
- HEA0032 HB0142 -- Notice of annexation.
- HEA0034 HB0041 -- Lightweight trailers-permanent registration.
- SEA0026 SF0008 -- Essential subsidy payments to behavioral health centers.
- SEA0027 SF0011 -- Cancer early detection amendments.
- SEA0028 SF0031 -- Adjacent land resource data trespass-repeal.
- SEA0029 SF0025 -- District and prosecuting attorneys-bar license requirement.
- SEA0030 SF0068 -- Prescriptive easement for water conveyances.
- SEA0031 SF0173 -- Financial institutions-similar names.
- SEA0032 SF0139 -- Unlawful use of a charge card or debit card.
- SEA0033 SF0069 -- Electronic records retention.
- SEA0034 SF0055 -- Chancery court vacancies-extension amendment.
- SEA0035 SF0040 -- Federal political action committees-reports.
- SEA0036 SF007 -- Definition of opiate antagonist-amendment.
Visit the governor's website for the list of bills he's signed during the 2023 Legislature.