Energy development and conservation/environmental mitigation can work together and are doing so in Wyoming, the nation’s most resource-intense state, Gov. Matt Mead told a symposium in Cheyenne Monday. Resource development does not have to mean “ruin,” Mead said.

Mead cited his recently released energy strategy for his state in which conservation, reclamation and mitigation are all given importance, along with responsible development of the state’s vast fossil fuel resources (see Daily GPI, May 14). He said Wyoming is trying to create a framework to balance energy and conservation needs in a state that leads the nation in exporting energy.

“The state of the art of reclamation science is on display in Wyoming daily,” said Mead, speaking at the Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Symposium and the American Society of Mining and Reclamation meeting. He said the quality of reclamation demonstrated by the mining industry in Wyoming “sets the global standard.”

Wyoming energy strategy groups an unwieldy 47 initiatives under four broad categories:

In the latter category, Mead has stressed that in oil and natural gas production, coal and uranium, Wyoming has global interest in advanced technologies that eventually can be exported.

The Mead energy strategy outlines the importance and interrelationship of energy production, environmental stewardship and the economy, said the governor’s spokesperson. “Within the strategy there is an emphasis on specific initiatives to develop conservation for wildlife and habitat, reclamation standards for disturbed areas, and baseline for measuring current conditions and trends.”

Mead told the symposium that “development of resources is not synonymous with ruin.” Instead, he suggested that the application of “the right reclamation science, in the right places, and at the right time” results in “a net increase in overall natural resource conditions.” Mead said Wyoming has shown this is not only possible, but it is “proven and should be expected.”

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