Wyoming Liberty Group
Free speech is under attack from three main sources around the world.
- Government repression has increased. After the Soviet Union fell, Russia enjoyed a free-for-all. Alas, today Mr. Putin has tightened the muzzle again.
- A number of non-state actors are at that game. Journalists in Mexico who investigate corruption may end up dead. Jihadists shoot French cartoonists.
- Finally, there are people who think they have a right to not be offended, and who expect to use the state – or the university administration – to enforce that right.
Another government attack on free speech is from a coalition of environmental alarmists and law enforcement. It may be more pernicious than the first three because of its subtlety.
The Wilderness Society is currently in the middle of a misguided petition campaign to stop the transfer of federal lands into state hands.
The organization’s mission says they aim to “contribute to better protection, stewardship and restoration of our public lands.” This makes it hard to understand why the WS is taking the stance it is on this issue. Given that mission statement, the WS ought to instead join forces with the eleven western states seeking to have federal lands returned to state ownership and management. Such a transfer could stop the forced taxpayer subsidies of a byzantine federal bureaucracy that shows a lower level of both fiduciary and environmental responsibility than their state counterparts.
by Jason Gay
Earlier this month the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) told us to expect a warmer winter in most of the country. Most of Wyoming is supposed to expect warmer than normal weather with a greater than 33 percent chance, while the southeastern part of the state has equal chances of a cooler or warmer than normal winter. Of course, that is if you trust the NOAA’s predictions.
by Christina Larson
Western lawmakers at all levels are painfully aware of the shortcomings of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), a law that was created with bipartisan support 41 years ago. A few weeks ago, Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis, co-chair of the ESA Congressional Working Group, was instrumental in the U.S. House of Representatives passing four bills that may be a first step to improving the law.
Coal is a major industry in Wyoming. According to the most recent data available, Wyoming is not only the nation’s top coal producer, it produces well over three times as much coal as West Virginia, the nation’s second largest. Mining in Wyoming accounts for of U.S. coal production.1
Mining (excluding oil and gas production)2 accounts for nearly $11 billion, or 28.4 percent, of Wyoming’s gross domestic product. Wyoming’s coal industry employs approximately 7,500 people with income averaging over $80,000 per year. Coal not only brings jobs to Wyoming, it brings well-paying jobs.
When the Environmental Protection Agency decided to go after Andy Johnson, they probably did not believe they were throwing a rock at a hornet’s nest. Since the story broke last week that the EPA is threatening Johnson, a welder who lives with his family on an 8-acre plot near Fort Bridger, with $75,000 a day in fines for constructing a pond on his property that is supplied by a small creek, the uproar has gone nationwide. As Johnson points out, if his pond—a pristine home to wild fish and source of clean water for his horses—is in any way a hazard to the environment, what isn’t?