Barrasso: Tracy Stone-Manning’s Actions Are a Direct Attack on the People of Wyoming and the West

June 13, 2024
Click here to watch Senator Barrasso’s opening remarks.


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), delivered remarks at a full committee hearing to conduct oversight of the Bureau of Land Management.

The hearing featured testimony from the Honorable Tracy Stone-Manning, Director of the Bureau of Land Management.

For more information on Director Stone-Manning’s testimony click here.

Senator Barrasso’s remarks: 

Well thanks so much Mr. Chairman.

“Thank you for holding this important hearing.

“This is the first time that Ms. Stone-Manning has appeared before the committee in three years.

“The Director of the Bureau of Land Management has a profound impact on the people of my home state in Wyoming.

I saw and heard about it last weekend in Wyoming as I met with the Wyoming Mining Association, and with the Wyoming Stockgrowers association, our ranchers.

“I heard about it again last night on a conference call with each of our Wyoming County Commissioners from each and every one of our twenty-three counties.

“And this is because nearly half of the land in Wyoming is owned by the federal government.

“And nearly 70 percent of the minerals in Wyoming are owned by the federal government.

And the Director manages most of this land.

“In Wyoming, the Director’s decisions have a significant effect on people’s jobs, on their  family budgets, on the quality of public education, and on our entire state’s economy.

“That is why I find Ms. Stone-Manning’s record – and her unwillingness to appear before us until now – so very troubling.

“Since 2021, Ms. Stone-Manning has been busy making decisions which will crush Wyoming’s economy and lay waste to our local communities in the years ahead.

And the examples abound.

“In August of 2023, the Bureau’s Rock Springs Field Office issued a Resource Management Plan that would devastate communities in southwest Wyoming.

“This is the home of some of the nation’s largest deposits of natural gas and a mineral called trona.

“These resources support tens of thousands of good paying jobs.

“Under this plan, the Bureau would lock up over two million acres of federal land from productive use.

“It would prohibit future energy and mineral development, prohibit grazing, and even recreation.

“The Governor, the state legislature, our entire congressional delegation, and the county commissioners all strongly oppose the Bureau’s plan.

“We know what will happen if the plan goes forward.

“The Director is making similar decisions in other parts of our state.

“Last month, the Buffalo Field Office issued a proposal to end new coal leasing in the Powder River Basin.

“Last year, the Powder River Basin supplied 45 percent of all of the coal mined in the United States of America.

“Wyoming’s coal production is the lifeblood of Gillette and northeast Wyoming.

“It supports tens of thousands of jobs, it helps fund K through 12 public education in our state

“And there is absolutely no reason to pursue this irresponsible and irrational proposal.

“We all know that President Biden wants a carbon-free grid.

“As of now, this is a pipedream and according to experts the world over – without an extraordinary technological breakthrough – it will likely never happen.


“In the meantime, we must not block access to the nation’s single richest area of abundant, available, and reliable of energy.

“The Bureau is also wreaking havoc in other areas of the state.

“In March of this year, the Bureau issued a Resource Management Plan to address the Greater-Sage Grouse.

“For over 15 years, the State of Wyoming has been at the forefront of efforts to protect the species and conserve and restore its habitat.

“Wyoming has done so while balancing the need for economic development.

“The Bureau is now proposing to undo Wyoming’s efforts and block access to millions of acres of federal land.

“The list goes on.

“In April, the Bureau finalized its so-called ‘Public Lands Rule.’

“This rule turns multiple use – the Bureau’s decades-old, bedrock principle of federal land management – turns it on its head. 

“It allows third parties to lease federal lands in order to block the productive use of the land.

“This is land which by law is to be used for grazing, energy, for mineral development, and recreation.

“Again – families and communities in Wyoming and throughout the West depend on federal lands for energy and mineral development, for grazing, for forest management, and for recreation.

“Multiple-use is enshrined in federal law.

“Yet, Ms. Stone-Manning is attempting to repeal it all on her own.

“If this weren’t enough, Ms. Stone-Manning is also sabotaging her own Bureau’s oil and gas program.

“She has failed to hold quarterly lease sales.

“She has nearly tripled timelines for permits.

“And she has refused to deliver leases to the winning bidders.

“She has issued a series of regulations to make it prohibitively expensive to explore and produce on federal lands.

“None of this should surprise us.

“I fought her nomination because Ms. Stone-Manning had long shown her hostility to the people of this country who live near and depend on federal lands.

“And, I’m glad today that this committee will finally call her to account.

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”