Wyoming Rejects Science Standards on Global Warming as Anti-Coal

Friday, 09 May 2014 11:58 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Wyoming has rejected science standards put forth by national education groups claiming they promote an anti-coal bias in their treatment of global warming.

"[The standards] handle global warming as settled science," Wyoming Republican Rep. Matt Teeters, who opposed the Next Generation Science Standards, told the Casper Star-Tribune earlier in the year.

"We believe that global warming is a theory and should be taught as such in our schools. We are also very concerned that evolution will be taught as fact, when in reality, it too, is only a theory," Teeters added in a separate email to Breitbart.com.

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In his email to Breitbart.com, Reeder further claimed the science standard "stresses the environmental impacts caused by the use of fossil fuels without talking about the positive impacts they have had and will continue to have, especially in Wyoming."

The sentiment was shared by Wyoming State Board of Education Chair Ron Micheli, who told the Casper Star-Tribune "I don't accept, personally, that [climate change] is a fact."

"[The standards are] very prejudiced in my opinion against fossil-fuel development," Micheli added.

Wyoming produces almost 40 percent of the nation's coal, with much of it used by power plants to provide electricity around the nation, The Associated Press reported. Minerals taxes on coal provided $1 billion to the state and local governments in 2012 and coal mining supports some 6,900 jobs in the state.

To date, the Next Generation Science Standards has been adopted by 12 states, the AP noted.

The decision to not adopt the science standards has been described as a major blow to education in Wyoming by proponents of the curriculum.

"Wyoming is certainly unique in having legislators and the governor making comments about perceived impacts on the fossil fuel industry of kids learning climate science, and unique in acting on that one objection to prohibit consideration of the package of standards, of which climate science is a small component," John Friedrich, a member of the national organization Climate Parents which supports the standards, told the AP.

"The science standards are acknowledged to be the best to prepare our kids for the future, and they are evidence based, peer reviewed, etc. Why would we want anything less for Wyoming?" Marguerite Herman, a lobbyist for the Wyoming League of Women Voters, added.

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