A naturally evolving solution

Sometimes a solution looks for a problem. Wyoming is this way. We’re faced now, for example, with the declining revenues from an industry, coal, that is easily replaced, and we don’t want to do it. Till now coal has been very lucrative to the state, and it will continue to be for years to come, but in a smaller and smaller way. The national market for coal is being reduced, and for the good reasons of pollution, health and cheaper alternatives to the making of electricity. Even infamously polluting China wants to “de-carbonize,” so all of our governor’s travels and efforts on behalf of coal are a waste.

I don’t know if the newly minted term “War on Coal” is supposed to bring tears to my eyes, as though it were some equivalent of Bambi being run over by a truck, but it does make me imagine Confederate President Jefferson Davis complaining that the Civil War was a “War on Slavery.” Yes, Mr. Davis, it partly was, and though it was a bloody mess, it was a necessary stage in making things better.

I look out my window and the wind is blowing; it never seems to stop. Just one project alone, the soon-to-be-built mega wind farm in Carbon County (worth $4.7 billion), will create thousands of high-paying jobs. It will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue for our state, easily supplanting much of our coal industry. This means no net job losses and no reduction in electricity created.

I cannot think of another state that has all the energy-creating options that Wyoming has, but this state has got to stop with its nonsensical “War on Clean Energy.” The current real-world trajectories of coal and wind are, taken together, a naturally evolving solution unfolding before our very eyes, so why try to change this and make it a problem?

Tom Gagnon

Rock Springs

A free ride to hell

I am very opposed to same sex marriage, as it is against all biblical principles. Marriage is clearly stated in the Bible as being for a man and a woman.

If there is no biblical principle to marriage, why marry? There are no tax advantages — actually, there are tax penalties.

It is so sad to see a country, once based on God (if I recall it is still on a dollar bill: “In God We Trust”), proposing “worldly law” leading to a “free ride” to HELL!

Reed Rick Miller


Whither the animals?

This morning I saw a sign that had been added to the River Park sign. It read: “It was the animals’ park first. Where do they go now?” Within an hour I drove past that location again, the sign had been removed. Why? Was it too hard to answer the question or too hard to ask the question?

Time and again in surveys asking locals what is most important to them, hands down the answer has been protecting the wildlife. Yet our actions don’t seem to match our words. While I don’t begrudge the decision to accept the generous donation of the land that will provide the necessary completion and connection for the bike path to the bridge as well as provide an improved boat launch site, I question how much the rest of the area needs to be developed.

The river park area is one of the most active areas for moose and other wildlife and is the corridor they use to travel north and south on 390. We know that when animals encounter people, especially in the winter, it decreases their chance of survival because of that stress. Do we really need another place to cross-country ski in the winter? Was the tunnel built to help the moose safely cross the highway when they get pushed by humans? Where will the moose go besides into the highway when they encounter skiers? Do we really need to develop all of the ponds and wetland areas of the “park,” taking it away from the wildlife?

Hasn’t nature already provided us with multiple opportunities to explore and enjoy water recreation without building a water amusement park? Whatever happened to teaching and showing our children that they can explore and discover nature as it is? Man-made construction will never trump authentic natural beauty. Is it time to step back and go back to protecting what we say is most valuable to us?

Rebecca Hawkins


Cancer: Get the info

Having lost an old friend and colleague, Pat McCoy, to pancreatic cancer last year, I appreciate Lisa Carranza’s letter (June 18) concerning funding for pancreatic cancer research. Two years ago Jackson Hole lost Dick Barker, another old friend of mine and my employer for many years, to breast cancer. Cancer can be deadly; we need much more research to wipe it out.

But lung cancer kills more people than breast, colon, pancreatic and prostate cancer combined. Yet lung cancer research receives only 8 percent as much funding as breast cancer, mistakenly considered the leading cancer killer. Survival rate after five years for lung cancer is only 16 percent. My wife, a lifetime nonsmoker, is a lung cancer survivor. She’ll be cancer-free for two years in August.

Great strides have been made in cancer research in the past decades. We know several simple rules to prevent cancer — don’t smoke, don’t drink to excess, eat right, exercise, keep your weight down — but cancer is quixotic and may appear anywhere anytime, even for those who practice clean living. My wife had a melanoma removed from beneath the fourth toe of her left foot three years ago, and it hasn’t returned.

For information on lung cancer see the website FreeToBreathe.org.

Verne Huser

Albuquerque, New Mexico

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