Wyoming's new Gov. Mark Gordon indicated in a state of the state address earlier this month that his administration would continue ongoing efforts to keep energy -- oil, natural gas and coal -- at the forefront of the economy.

"Energy continues to be one of the pillars of our economy," said Gordon, a Republican who formerly served as state treasurer. "I will continue to support the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources' efforts across the spectrum of industries that have helped build our state."

Gordon noted that an all-time record number of oil and gas drilling permits were granted last year in Wyoming and said his plans to expand the state energy office should further help streamline that process. Most of his remarks, however, focused on coal.

 "The world demands what Wyoming has to offer, especially when it comes to our mineral and energy sectors," he said.

Contending that coal remains essential to the U.S. energy portfolio, Gordon said technology keeps advancing “clean” coal alternatives worldwide. While Wyoming is the eighth largest oil and gas producer in the country, it is the nation’s leading coal-producing state, according to the Energy Information Administration.

“Technologies employed there when paired with Powder River Basin coal can reduce the overall carbon emitted," Gordon said. "This progress should be a gut-cinch for those advocating to control carbon emissions."

He lauded the decade-long efforts to develop a coal port in Longview, WA, the Millennium Bulk Terminal, to expedite coal exports to South Korea and Japan. "There are promising new uses of coal that can provide advanced building materials and innovative new products," he said.

One of the drivers for his approach to energy involves an "enhanced" state energy office that can “better site renewable energy projects and provide all-in service improving our ability to wisely develop our full portfolio of resources in a transparent way."

For energy and other sectors of the state's economy Gordon said there needs to be more "efficiencies and productivity" in government. "We will continue to seek innovative solutions that support coal, address climate change, and grow our economy.”