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Putting up lights. Photo by Pinedale Online!
Putting up holiday lights County and Town crews have had amazingly warm and beautiful weather to put up the Christmas lights and decorations around town. Here workers sort and string lights for the big trees at the County Courthouse lawn in Pinedale. The Town will celebrate their Mountain Man Christmas and the official tree lighting on Saturday, December 11th. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Voices 8. Photo by Pinedale Online!
Voices 8 The singers of Voices 8 sang Christmas carols during the social hour before the Museum of the Mountain Man's annual Wreath Auction on Friday, December 3rd at the Pinedale Library. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Beautiful wreaths. Photo by Pinedale Online!
Beautiful Wreaths Members of the community donated many beautiful wreaths and chocolate creations to the Museum of the Mountain Man's annual wreath auction on Friday, December 3rd in Pinedale. The event is a fundraiser for the Museum’s next year’s programs and projects. If you missed the live auction, you can still view all the wreaths and chocolate creations online here Photo by Pinedale Online.
Gas Prices
December 5, 2021
Pinedale3.599
Big Piney3.599
Wyoming3.426
USA3.359
Regular unleaded average.
WY & US provided by AAA.
Diesel Prices
December 25, 2021
Pinedale4.199
Big Piney3.899
Wyoming3.748
USA3.622
WY & US provided by AAA.
Headlines:

Pinedale Local:

White Pine Open House Dec. 11
Pinedale Ranger District seeks comments on Elk Ridge Complex Rangeland Supplementation Project
Sublette BOCES offers winter enrichment classes
Wyoming Legislature update – Dec. 6, 2021
2021 Wreath Auction
COVID-19 through November 2021 in Wyoming
Trapper’s Park Dedication Dec. 11th in Pinedale
Mountain Man Christmas Dec. 11 in Pinedale
Pinedale Community Choir to perform for holiday season
Sublette Center offering CNA class
Angel Wreath program underway

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December 11: Mountain Man Christmas in Pinedale - Fun activities all day in downtown Pinedale. Dedication of Trapper's Park at 4PM. Tree lighting at 5PM. Lighted parade at 6PM. Contact the Chamber for more details, 307-367-2242.
January 28-February 5: 2022 Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race - www.wyomingstagestop.org

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Pinedale Online is Pinedale, Wyoming on the web. We give our viewers, locals and out-of-area visitors, a "slice of life" snapshot window into our world view of what is happening in Pinedale. Visit us for current local news on what is happening, photos of local events, links to area businesses and services and more. We are long-time area residents and are happy to answer questions if you are planning a visit to our area. Much of our information is by community contribution.

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Governor Gordon comments on court pause on Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate (posted 12/7/2021)
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon media release
CHEYENNE, WYOMING – Governor Mark Gordon has responded to today’s (Tuesday, December 7, 2021) decision by a federal court in Georgia that temporarily blocks President Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors and subcontractors. The Governor and Attorney General joined Wyoming in a coalition challenging this federal action.

"This is the third time the courts have heard our concerns about federal overreach and temporarily halted the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandates," Governor Gordon said. "This Administration should take note and stand down from this effort. Attorney General Hill and I remain committed to protecting Wyoming’s people from these unconstitutional policies."

Wyoming is taking a three-pronged approach to fighting the federal vaccine mandates, filing three separate legal actions to challenge this federal overreach.

These include: Filing a lawsuit against the Biden Administration for imposing a vaccine mandate on federal contractors and subcontractors. The federal court in Georgia temporarily blocked this mandate today nationwide.

Filing another lawsuit to halt the Occupational Safety and Health Administration emergency temporary standard which mandates vaccines on employees of private Wyoming businesses with over 100 employees. This resulted in a pause on the implementation of the Emergency Temporary Standard.

Taking legal action to challenge a rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that would impose a vaccine mandate on healthcare workers. A preliminary injunction that halts implementation and enforcement of that rule was issued on November 29.

Wyoming has joined with a coalition of other states in each of the lawsuits, and legal preparations in all three cases are ongoing.

A copy of the order granting the Motion for Preliminary Injunction may be found here.


BLM field offices seek volunteers for bald eagle survey (posted 12/7/2021)
Survey on January 8th, 2022
Survey on January 8th, 2022
The Bureau of Land Management Pinedale and Worland Field Offices are seeking volunteers to assist with the national Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Survey on Saturday, January 8, 2022.

Volunteers should call the Pinedale Field Office to be assigned survey routes along public roads in Sublette County, or the Worland Field Office to be assigned routes along public roads in Washakie, Hot Springs, and Big Horn counties.

Two-person observation teams are needed so that one person can safely drive while the other observes and documents eagles. Volunteers must sign up before Thursday, January 6, 2022, and will receive instructions on survey methods and eagle identification.

Since 1979, federal and state agencies, as well as volunteers from the public, have counted bald eagles throughout the U.S. every January. By monitoring and estimating national and regional count trends, an index of the total winter bald eagle population in the lower 48 states has been established.

For more information, please contact Theresa Gulbrandson in the Pinedale Field Office, 307-367-5359, or Darci Stafford in the Worland Field Office, 307-347-5149.


Flag Half-Staff Notice
Flag Half Staff Notice – In Honor of Senator Bob Dole (posted 12/5/2021)
Until sunset on Thursday, December 9th
Flag Half Staff Notice – In Honor of Senator Bob Dole
CHEYENNE, WYOMING - Governor Mark Gordon, in accordance with a presidential proclamation, has ordered both the U.S. and State of Wyoming flag be flown at half-staff statewide immediately until sunset on Thursday, December 9th in honor of the life and legacy of Senator Bob Dole. Senator Dole represented Kansas in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996. He died Sunday at the age of 98.

The Proclamation from President Joe Biden follows: DEATH OF ROBERT JOSEPH DOLE
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

As a mark of respect for Robert Joseph Dole, a statesman like few in our history and a war hero among the greatest of the Greatest Generation, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on December 9, 2021. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.


ERAP update (posted 12/5/2021)
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
Wyoming Department of Family Services
Are you struggling to pay your utility bills? Many Wyoming households are worried about having their heat shut off this winter, especially with rising energy bills. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) can help eligible Wyoming renters pay their utility bills. Under ERAP, eligible renters can apply for rent assistance only, utility assistance only, or both rent and utility assistance.

Another program to consider is the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP), which helps low- and fixed-income families and individuals pay their heating bills during the winter months. The federally-funded program gives priority to households that include elderly (60+), disabled and/or young children (5 and under).

In Wyoming, utility providers cannot discontinue service for non-payment if temperatures are forecast to be below 32 degrees in the next 48 hours and you are actively seeking government assistance. Don't wait for a shut-off notice to ask for help! If you are past due and may not be able to make payment, apply for assistance today.

As of Dec 2, ERAP has approved a total of 4,783 applications, paying a total of $12.6M in assistance. Of the rental payments, $9.9M went to landlords, $1.9M to renters and $789K to utilities.

ERAP RESOURCES
• ONLINE: Learn more about ERAP online at dfs.wyo.gov/erap.
• IN PERSON: If you need assistance with an application, there are community based organizations set up in each county to provide help. (Click here for an updated list)
• VIA PHONE: The call center is open 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The toll-free number is 1-877-WYO-ERAP (1-877-996-3727).
• FLYER: Download the ERAP flyer to learn more about the program and to share with those who may be interested in the program.
________________________________________

If you have questions regarding your application, please call 877-WYO-ERAP.

If you have programmatic questions, please email RentalAssistance@wyo.gov

Please continue to visit our website for the latest information at dfs.wyo.gov/erap.


Jackson Hole Airport to close for 3 months in spring of 2022 (posted 12/4/2021)
For runway reconstruction in April through June
The Jackson, Wyoming airport will be closed for three months from approximately April through June 2022 for runway reconstruction. The entire airport will be closed during that time. Those wishing to fly will need to go out through other airports. Regional airports are located in Rock Springs, Wyoming; Idaho Falls, Idaho; and Salt Lake City, Utah. See the links below for additional details.

Related Links:
Jackson Hole Airport
JH Airport sets closure dates for spring 2022 runway reconstruction buckrail.com, March 2, 2021
Jackson Hole Airport to close for 90 days in 2022 By Mike Koshmrl, Jackson Hole News & Guide, Nov. 11, 2020


Sublette County Public Health Update: December 3, 2021 (posted 12/4/2021)
Sublette County Public Health
COVID Update
The Wyoming Department of Health announced another death of a Sublette County resident this week. Sublette County Public Health sends their heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.

WDH reported 25 new COVID-19 cases in Sublette County since our last report two weeks ago. There are currently 10 active cases in Sublette County, with 1,457 recoveries and 23 deaths, for a total of 1,490 cases since the pandemic began.

Sublette County moved down to the Yellow or Moderate Transmission Zone for community spread this week reflecting the decrease in cases in the past two weeks, the rest of the state is mostly in the orange zone with a few hot spots remaining. (source: https://health.wyo.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/County-Metrics_December-1-2021.pdf)

Flu & COVID-19 Vaccines
As of November 29, 2021 – 3,184 people, or 32.39% of our population, have been fully vaccinated in Sublette County. Public Health administered 230 doses of COVID vaccine at our Marbleton & Pinedale Clinics this week.

Public Health continues to offer weekly COVID vaccine clinics for ages 5+ years. Flu vaccinations are available at our scheduled clinics or by appointment on other days. Due to high demand for vaccines, we are recommending that you call to schedule your appointment time. Walk-ins will be accepted, but priority will be given to our scheduled clients. Please call 307-367-2157 to schedule an appointment.

Tuesdays at the Public Health Office in the Marbleton
Senior Center

• 11am to 3:30 pm for flu and COVID vaccinations/boosters
• Appointments recommended. Walk-ins accepted.

Thursdays at the Public Health Office in Pinedale
• 10 am to 4 pm for flu and COVID vaccinations/boosters.
• Appointments recommended. Walk-ins accepted from 2 to 4 pm.

Please bring your COVID vaccine card and completed vaccine consent form with you. We ask that you wear a mask in our offices for your appointment.

Other Vaccine Options: Surrounding counties have options for vaccinations with extended hours and dates.
Public Health Offices and Pharmacy chains have their clinic information with registration information on these websites.
Teton County – multiple locations & times.
See this website for information:
https://www.tetoncountywy.gov/covidvax.
Sweetwater County – multiple locations & times. See this website for information:
https://sweetwatercares.com/vaccination-updates/
Ridley’s – see their website for information:
https://shopridleys.com/home.php or call 307-367-2131.

COVID-19 Testing
Please see our website for information: https://www.sublettewycovid.com/testing.


Winter wildlife closures begin Dec. 1 on Bridger-Teton (posted 12/1/2021)
Bridger-Teton National Forest
The Bridger-Teton National Forest is stressing the importance of winter wildlife closure areas. December 1, 2021 all the winter closure areas are in effect except areas north of the Gros Ventre Road on the Jackson and Blackrock Ranger Districts. Closures for those will begin December 15.

Designated winter closure areas are essential to the survival of wildlife. When people or their animals enter closed winter range, wildlife is forced to move to new locations. This retreat requires animals, such as deer, elk and moose, to use energy they cannot spare. This leads to a weakened condition, which can have a direct effect on the animals’ ability to fend off disease or predators and can lead to reproduction problems.

Some high use recreation trails go through or directly along the edge of these closure areas. It is important to stay on the trails and keep pets leashed to minimize any impacts to our native wildlife. Some high use trails have leash requirements around the trailhead and the beginning of the trail not only to protect wildlife but to decrease the chance of user conflicts as well.

Winter conditions have yet to set in across western Wyoming, it is important to remember that forest roads may be closed despite being dry and clear of snow. Consult the Motor Vehicle Use Map or MVUM for specifics on when roads close to wheeled and motorized vehicles.

Winter travel maps and MVUMs are available at district offices or online for your mobile device for Android and Apple operating systems. The free app is available for download through Avenza System Inc.: www.avenza.com/pdf-maps. This application along with the PDF maps available on the Bridger-Teton National Forest website under the ‘Maps and Publications’ tab, will allow you to view your location as you move across a map.


Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approves tri-state grizzly management MOA (posted 11/30/2021)
First step in process to address court’s concerns to delist grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Wyoming Game & Fish
CHEYENNE, WYOMING – Today (Tuesday, November 30, 2021), the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission took the first step in the process to address the court’s concerns to delist grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The Commission approved a revised tri-state Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) regarding the management and allocation of discretionary mortality of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

"Wyoming has worked collaboratively with Idaho and Montana to make these updates," said Rick King, chief of wildlife for Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

The revised MOA recognizes the expanding number of grizzly bears that have grown beyond the edges of the bear’s biological and socially suitable range. With refined population estimates, data shows the population numbers more than 1,000 bears, far beyond all scientific requirements for a recovered, viable population. The revisions also include an explicit commitment to grizzly bear’s long-term genetic health and will provide for translocation of bears into the population, as needed, to maintain genetic diversity.

The MOA will still need approval from Idaho and Montana through their respective Commissions and directors before Wyoming files a delisting petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


Governor Gordon criticizes Biden Administration’s Oil and Gas Leasing Review (posted 11/30/2021)
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon
CHEYENNE, WYOMING – Governor Mark Gordon has responded forcefully to Friday’s release of the Department of the Interior’s report on federal oil and gas leasing and permitting (Friday, November 26, 2021) The Governor noted that this unnecessary review was used as an excuse for the Biden Administration’s illegal moratorium on oil and gas leasing on Federal lands. The Governor’s full statement follows:

"The Biden Administration’s long-awaited review, released quietly the day after Thanksgiving, lacks merit and is a frontal assault on Western lands that leaves nothing to be thankful for. The report encourages increasing the cost of producing oil and gas in Wyoming by hiking the royalty rate, taking more areas off the table for federal leasing and increasing the costs of bonding. None of these options are wise or necessary for Wyoming.

Wyoming is not over-leased. In fact, only 23% of the total mineral acreage held by the Federal Government is leased. With our state’s oil and gas industry just showing signs of recovery, this is the worst time to needlessly increase expenses such as jacking up royalty rates or instituting higher bond requirements. Wyoming already has an industry-funded, successful plugging and abandonment program. While we are asking our enemies to produce more oil, under less stringent regulations and drain our own national security reserves, further weakening our economy, we need to remember that the only result of the President’s actions will be driving more activity to foreign countries and to states with fewer federal lands and minerals.

Instead of selling energy to our allies, as we used to, this administration wants to make us more dependent on our adversaries. And for what? We can do more to reduce CO2 emissions by innovating new technologies that improve our standard of living than regulating into oblivion. Any potential modifications to the oil and gas leasing program identified by this review could have been brought forward without the illegal and devastating moratorium. As I have stated on multiple occasions to the Biden administration, the leasing moratorium does nothing to achieve their climate agenda."

Related Links:
https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/report-on-the-federal-oil-and-gas-leasing-program-doi-eo-14008.pdf Report on the Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Program, U.S. Department of the Interior, November 2021


Judge orders pause in Federal Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Workers (posted 11/29/2021)
Fighting Federal vaccine mandates
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon media release
CHEYENNE, WYOMING – Governor Mark Gordon welcomed a preliminary injunction issued today (Monday, November 29, 2021) by the United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri that halts implementation and enforcement of a rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that would impose a vaccine mandate on healthcare workers. Governor Gordon and Attorney General Bridget Hill entered Wyoming in this lawsuit, challenging the federal mandate.

"This is welcome news for Wyoming’s rural healthcare facilities, which are already facing staffing challenges without additional unconstitutional burdens being placed on their employees by the federal government," Governor Gordon said. "Healthcare employees should not be forced to choose between vaccination and termination."

The proposed mandate required nearly every employee, volunteer, and and contractor working at a wide range of healthcare facilities receiving Medicaid or Medicare funding to have received at least a first dose of the vaccine prior to December 6, 2021.

In its ruling, the court agreed to preliminarily enjoin implementation and enforcement of the rule because arguments made by Wyoming and a coalition of other states have a likelihood of success on the merits. Wyoming and the coalition have argued that CMS does not have authority to issue the mandate, and that it would impact the ability of healthcare facilities to effectively care for patients.

"Because it is evident CMS significantly understates the burden that its mandate would impose on the ability of healthcare facilities to provide proper care, and thus, save lives, the public has an interest in maintaining the ‘status quo’ while the merits of the case are determined," wrote the court.

The ruling applies only to the 10-state coalition that, along with Wyoming, includes Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and New Hampshire. Today’s ruling is a victory for Wyoming and these states, but the case is not over. The Governor and Attorney General will continue their efforts to challenge the mandate through this lawsuit.

A copy of the order granting the Motion for Preliminary Injunction may be found here.

Wyoming is taking a three-pronged approach to fighting the federal vaccine mandates, filing three separate legal actions to challenge this federal overreach. These include:
Filing a lawsuit against the Biden Administration for imposing a vaccine mandate on federal contractors and federally contracted employees. Wyoming is currently awaiting a ruling on a request for a temporary injunction in the case.

Filing a second lawsuit to halt the Occupational Safety and Health Administration emergency temporary standard which mandates vaccines on employees of private Wyoming businesses with over 100 employees. This also resulted in a pause on the implementation of the ETS.

The legal action involving CMS, which seeks to prevent the Biden Administration from enforcing the mandate on healthcare workers. This is what the court stayed today.

Order:
https://themissouritimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/cms-injunction.pdf
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1f9g4_sni5ZIR21ZzW4ufnbP-uaWHtVC_/view


Christmas tree permits available for BLM Wyoming public lands (posted 11/19/2021)
Bureau of Land Management
Christmas tree permits are available at BLM Wyoming field offices and online.

Permits may be purchased between 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Mon.-Fri. from any BLM Wyoming field office. The cost for a permit is $5 to $10 per tree, depending on location. Up to a maximum of five Christmas trees can be purchased by an individual for personal use.

This year, the permits are also available online at https://forestproducts.blm.gov from most BLM Wyoming field offices. Permits will be available Nov. 22.

A BLM permit is valid for trees located on BLM-administered lands only. Permits for trees on U.S. Forest Service-administered land can be obtained at your local Forest Service office and at some BLM offices.

Tree cutters must have a valid permit with them while cutting a tree. Trees may not be cut within wilderness areas, wilderness study areas, timber sale areas or administrative sites such as developed campgrounds.

Although the Christmas tree permits are for any tree species, the BLM recommends Engelmann spruce, sub-alpine fir, Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine and lodgepole pine as the best species to cut for your Christmas tree. Christmas trees harvested from aspen stands and dense young stands will contribute to forest health and improve wildlife habitat.

It is the purchaser’s responsibility to not trespass on private land and to make sure you’re cutting the tree in the correct area. Be prepared for winter weather and high country conditions.

For more information, please visit www.blm.gov/wyoming-christmas-trees or call your local BLM office:

Buffalo Field Office (307) 684-1100
Casper Field Office (307) 261-7600
Cody Field Office (307) 578-5900
Kemmerer Field Office (307) 828-4500
Lander Field Office (307) 332-8400
Newcastle Field Office (307) 746-6600
Pinedale Field Office (307) 367-5300
Rawlins Field Office (307) 328-4200
Rock Springs Field Office (307) 352-0256
Worland Field Office (307) 347-5100
Wyoming State Office (307) 775-6314


Christmas tree permits available on National Forest public lands (posted 11/19/2021)
Bridger-Teton National Forest
Christmas tree permits are now available for purchase online through www.recreation.gov through December 31st. Details about where to cut and height restrictions may be found at Recreation.gov by searching "Bridger-Teton National Forest."

"Trekking through the forest in search of that special holiday tree is a beloved tradition for many and the perfect way to start the holiday season," reflects Tricia O’Connor, Forest Supervisor.

The Forest Service will also offer Christmas tree tags at our district offices and at the Alpine Visitor Center. Please call ahead as our offices remain closed to walk-in business due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To purchase a Christmas Tree permit, visit Recreation.gov and search for Bridger-Teton National Forest Christmas Tree Permits. It is important to carefully read the overview and need-to-know information prior to purchasing the permit. Visitors will need to set up or login to a Recreation.gov account to complete the transaction. Each permit is $15 for any tree, plus a $2.50 processing fee. Users can purchase up to five trees per account. The permit must be printed and placed in the windshield of your vehicle as you remove your tree(s) from the Forest.

Many Forest roads are subject to seasonal closures. Free Motor Vehicle Use maps may be available at each District Office, online at www.fs.usda.gov/btnf/ or by downloading the Avenza App.

Additionally, all 4th graders throughout the United States receive a FREE Christmas tree permit, as part of the Every Kid Outdoors Program. If utilizing the online system at recreation.gov, enter the voucher or pass number when prompted. Call your local Forest Service office for more information on the Every Kid Outdoors Program.


OSHA suspends mask mandate (posted 11/17/2021)
The December 6 and January 4 deadlines are no longer in effect pending further court action
COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, published on November 5, 2021 (86 Fed. Reg. 61402) ("ETS"). The court ordered that OSHA "take no steps to implement or enforce" the ETS "until further court order." The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is blocking the OSHA vaccine mandate for employers of 100 or more people. The issue is expected to make its way to the Supreme Court.

In a 22-page ruling, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the mandate was "fatally flawed," and barred the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from enforcing the mandate "pending adequate judicial review" of a motion for permanent injunction. Biden administration rule requiring large companies to mandate COVID vaccines for employees or impose weekly testing is "staggeringly overbroad" and "grossly exceeds [the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's] statutory authority," the federal appeals court said.

The order was issued after an expedited briefing and in response to a petition filed by various employers, states, religious groups, and individual citizens seeking a temporary stay of the ETS pending judicial review to determine if a permanent injunction of the ETS should issue. While the Fifth Circuit will not necessarily be the final word on the matter, the ruling signals that at least one federal appellate court has made a preliminary determination that the challenge to the ETS will likely succeed on the merits. Pending review, the ruling effectively nullifies the ETS as OSHA is barred from both enforcing and implementing it.

For an emergency regulation to be upheld, OSHA must show that the emergency regulation is necessary to protect employees from "grave danger" due to exposure to "substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful."

The court stated COVID-19 does not pose a grave danger because the virus—which is widely present and not particular to any workplace, and "non-life threatening to a vast majority of employees"—does not arise to such a toxic or physically harmful "substance" or "agent" contemplated by the OSH Act. The court found the ETS to be overbroad because it defines covered employers not by the actual threat of COVID-19 transmission posed by a specific workplace or to specific workers, but broadly encompasses all workplaces based on the number of employees alone.

On November 16, 2021, the Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation consolidated all petitions for review of the ETS (including the Fifth Circuit ruling) before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The Sixth Circuit has jurisdiction over federal appeals from the states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

What does this mean for the December 6 and January 4 deadlines?
Because OSHA is barred from both enforcing the ETS and taking any steps to implement the ETS, the December 6 and January 4 deadlines are no longer in effect pending further court action. While the ETS is no longer in effect, the Fifth Circuit ruling has no impact on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) interim final rule for healthcare workers and President Biden’s Executive Order 14042 on mandatory vaccinations for federal contractors. Employers should continue to adhere to these requirements as applicable. Notably, the vaccination deadline for covered federal contractors has been extended once again, and is now January 18, 2022.

Source: https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/ets2

Related Links:
Excerpts From the 5th Circuit Court Judgement Against OSHA Brownstone Institute, November 13, 2021


Wyoming’s first nuclear facility to be built in Kemmerer (posted 11/16/2021)
Will be located at retiring Naughton Power Plant coal generation site
TerraPower media release
BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON – November 16, 2021 – TerraPower today announced Kemmerer, Wyoming as the preferred site for the Natrium™ reactor demonstration project, which is a TerraPower and GE-Hitachi technology, and is one of two competitively-selected advanced reactor demonstration projects (ARDP) supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The company selected the Kemmerer location, near the Naughton Power Plant, following an extensive evaluation process and meetings with community members and leaders.

"People across Wyoming welcomed us into their communities over the past several months, and we are excited to work with PacifiCorp to build the first Natrium plant in Kemmerer," said Chris Levesque, president and CEO of TerraPower. "Our innovative technology will help ensure the continued production of reliable electricity while also transitioning our energy system and creating new, good-paying jobs in Wyoming."

"This project is an exciting opportunity to explore what could be the next generation of clean, reliable, affordable energy production while providing a path to transition for Wyoming’s energy economy, communities and employees," said Gary Hoogeveen, president and CEO of Rocky Mountain Power, a division of PacifiCorp.

"Just yesterday, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and today DOE is already putting it to work with more than $1.5 billion heading to Wyoming," said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. "The energy communities that have powered us for generations have real opportunities to power our clean energy future through projects just like this one, that provide good-paying jobs and usher in the next wave of nuclear technologies."

The demonstration project team evaluated a variety of factors when selecting the site of the Naughton Power Plant, where the remaining two coal units are scheduled to retire in 2025. Factors included community support, the physical characteristics of the site, the ability of the site to obtain a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), access to existing infrastructure, and the needs of the grid.

"On behalf of Kemmerer and surrounding communities, we are pleased and excited to host the Natrium demonstration project. This is great for Kemmerer and great for Wyoming," said Bill Thek, the mayor of Kemmerer.

The Natrium reactor demonstration project’s preferred siting is subject to the finalization of definitive agreements on the site and applicable permitting, licensing and support. TerraPower anticipates submitting the demonstration plant’s construction permit application to the NRC in mid-2023. The plant is expected to be operational in the next seven years, aligning with the ARDP schedule mandated by Congress.

According to project estimates, approximately 2,000 workers will be needed for construction at the project’s peak. Once the plant is operational, approximately 250 people will support day-to-day activities, including plant security.

The demonstration plant is intended to validate the design, construction and operational features of the Natrium technology. The project features a 345 MW sodium-cooled fast reactor with a molten salt-based energy storage system. The storage technology can boost the system’s output to 500 MW of power when needed, which is equivalent to the energy required to power around 400,000 homes. The energy storage capability allows the plant to integrate seamlessly with renewable resources.

Through the recently signed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, DOE worked with Congress to allocate nearly $2.5 billion in new funding for ARDP. This allocation, along with previous funding, will cover DOE’s commitment to TerraPower for the first five years of a seven-year, $2 billion agreement.

TerraPower will match this investment dollar for dollar. Federal funding is provided for the demonstration activity under a cost-shared cooperative agreement and the result of the project will be a commercially-owned generating asset.

About TerraPower
TerraPower is a leading nuclear innovation company that strives to improve the world through nuclear energy and science. Since it was founded by Bill Gates and a group of like-minded visionaries, TerraPower has emerged as an incubator and developer of ideas and technologies that offer energy independence, environmental sustainability, medical advancement and other cutting-edge opportunities. It accepts and tackles some of the world’s most difficult challenges. Behind each of its innovations and programs, TerraPower actively works to bring together the strengths and experiences of the world’s public and private sectors to answer pressing global needs. Learn more at terrapower.com.

Source: https://www.terrapower.com/natrium-demo-kemmerer-wyoming/

Related Links:
Wyoming’s First Nuclear Facility to be Located in Kemmerer SweetwaterNow.com, November 16, 2021
Local Leaders Hear Plans for New Nuclear Power Plant in Wyoming SweetwaterNow.com, July 1, 2021
Governor Gordon Announces Historic Nuclear Facility in Wyoming SweetwaterNow.com, June 2, 2021


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