The Wyoming Office of Tourism reported that in 2017 tourism provided us with 8.7 million overnight visitors, generated $3.5 billion, plus $188 million in tax revenues (reducing taxes paid by Wyomingites by $804 each), and supported over 32 thousand jobs.

Many candidates are talking about stopping “government intrusion” or “interference,” while promising to grow jobs and the economy.

Many of the “intrusions” consist of regulations put in place to protect the environment. They protect our water, soil, air, food supply, wildlife and our health and lives. According to the Wyoming Outdoor Council, the oil and gas industries have admitted that their leaking infrastructures account for significant methane gas pollution. How many tourists will continue to come here if we compromise our environment, quality of living, and natural wonders?

Wyoming also earned a “F” for worker safety from the National Safety Council. How many workers will we attract/keep in a hazardous environment?

We have seen that industries are poor at regulating themselves, at protecting workers, and at safeguarding our environment. Is further deregulation really the answer? Are profits more important than people and our long-term security and health?

What do the candidates say about growing jobs and the economy when the environment is increasingly threatened and worker safety is abysmal? What solutions can they offer?

Carol Smith


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