Editor:

I was recently thumbing through Donald Trump’s Cookbook of Favorite Recipes and happened upon this recipe for a disaster:

First you open up the entire U.S. outer continental shelf for oil and gas lease sales. These leases will involve nearly all of the coastal waters of the country, including millions of acres in the Arctic and along the eastern seaboard. Some of these waters have been protected from oil and gas development for decades. You do this even though the governors of just about every coastal state, democrat and republican, object. You give Florida an exemption because of its importance in the next presidential election and because its governor is a republican. And because you own property in Florida.

Next you recommend overhauling the safety monitoring rules for offshore drilling. These safety rules were put in place following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill for the purpose of preventing a similar disaster in the future. You contend these rules are overly burdensome for the oil and gas industry.

Then with the tax bill that passed in December you allow a special tax of 9 cents a barrel on companies selling oil in the United States to expire. (Merry Christmas Exxon. Happy New Year Chevron.) That tax was the primary source of funding for the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. This Fund was created for the purpose of providing funding so as to be able to immediately respond to and mitigate offshore oil spills like the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill. This tax on oil companies previously raised millions of dollars a year for the fund. In the future those dollars will remain in the bank accounts of the oil companies.

Add a pinch of political payback. Stir in a tablespoon of indifference. Sauté over low heat with lots of greenbacks. Allow to sit until disaster strikes.

GARY SCOTT, Cheyenne

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