Senator Bebout casts aspersions on the PRBRC as if his own business interests and political affiliations had pure Wyoming pedigrees. I'm glad the PRBRC has out-of-state support. There are many outside our boundaries who care about Wyoming's clean air and water, our biodiversity, and yes, our jobs. It's rather reductive for a professed proponent of critical thinking to conflate jobs with extractive jobs. Although the oil and gas industry has indeed provided jobs, that was never the primary objective. Wise minds have long since turned to developing, promoting and implementing alternative, clean and sustainable energy.
Groups like the PRBRC support energy transition plans that include full employment, but Senator Bebout clings to a poisonous and poorly regulated industry heading for obsolescence. While Senator Bebout calls Lax's words cruel, I think it is crueler to ignore the clear need to get Wyoming up to speed on economic and environmental conversion.
Look to the examples of neighbor states. This will require every cent the oil and gas industry owes our state. This industry has already been paid in the lives of too many Wyoming workers, as they have had plenty to do with our notorious workplace death statistics. Senator Bebout appears to be ending his public service and will leave with pockets well-padded for his future. Too bad that Wyoming, her land and people face a future far less secure. The PRBRC, a voice against corporate malfeasance and environmental degradation since 1972, will still be working alongside those both in and out of Wyoming, to create a future healthier in every way.
Aside: All I know of composition came from Sister Estelle at Regina High School (Minneapolis, Class of '78) and I have a feeling she would have considered any use of quotation marks around the word "facts," to be highly suspect, as well as the "author."
LEAH VADER, Gillette
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