Posted: January 29th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian
Recently, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s Outdoors Editor Shauna Stephenson published an article about recent changes to energy rules and regulations from the nation’s Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and how they would affect both Wyoming’s energy producers and the conservation groups that fight them. (Yes, we need energy, but not at any cost) Stephenson failed to ask the one fundamental question that should be driving this debate and instead focused on the partisan issue at hand.
The driving question should be: why is it Washington’s decision what Wyoming does with our energy?
Being something of a tree hugger, I understand the issue of sustainability and conservation, but I am practical enough to understand that the forces at work here are not what they pretend to be. A generally free market, Constitutional understanding of the issue immediately tells me that government, especially centralized control in Washington, will do little to “conserve” anything and a lot to bring new hazards to our great state’s future.
Wyoming is the nations number one net producer of surplus energy and is responsible for about 34% of the nation’s total clean coal supply. We are also one of the greatest producers of natural gas and have some of the highest potential for renewable wind energy production. No wonder the feds in Washington want to control our energy sources. Even Texas, often seen as the nation’s oil capital, doesn’t produce a surplus like we do and remote Alaska is unable to export well enough to beat our ability either.
In this regard, Wyoming is at a real negotiation advantage. All we have to do is realize one thing: the District of Columbia doesn’t control us, the People of Wyoming control us and our energy.
Earlier this week, I listened in on Senator Barrasso’s telephone town hall meeting where as much was said by one caller, who questioned why Washington was so interested in telling the People of Wyoming what to do. That was in regards to health care, but it applies here as well.
Of course, environmental groups such as the Nature Conservancy and other big-money psuedo-environmental groups hope to gain more control over policies affecting Wyoming’s energy. None of those groups are based in Wyoming and I’d be willing to bet that few even include citizens of this state. I don’t belong to any of them. Do you?
The citizens and their elected officials here in Wyoming need to begin weighing everything Washington does to control our everyday lives and our economic future and begin to consider the idea that maybe Washington is more trouble than it’s worth. As an independent State in the Union, Wyoming has the Constitutional authority to tell Washington to shove off.
Perhaps it’s time to do so. Other states, such as our friends up north in Montana, have already done so on other issues – they decided gun control from the BATFE in Washington was not for them. Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and others have all proposed 10th Amendment legislation to assert their rights as independent States.
I think it’s high time Wyoming did the same.
The people who live here and enjoy our beautiful state’s natural wildness, great resources, rural living, and unobtrusive politics are the ones who should decide what is done with resources that surround us.
After all, it’s our mountains, our prairie, our oil, our gas, our water, and our wildlife that are at stake here. Not America’s, but Wyoming’s. Yours and mine. Washington is 1,400 miles away. What can they possibly know about Wyoming?