The governor has finally revealed to the citizens of Wyoming the proposed purchase of a "massive" amount of land from Occidental Petroleum along the southern border of the state. Apparently we are just now learning of this potential "historic" purchase that has been in the works for several months.

State Treasurer Curt Meier says such a purchase will take a substantial amount of Wyoming’s reserve fund. In addition, how the land would be used or if there is any recreational potential remains unclear. What is going on here? A transaction that immense should have the input of Wyoming citizens and yet -- no public hearings? Shouldn’t we as the taxpayers have a major say in this purchase? What will the land be used for? Recreation? Energy development?

The governor and Sen. Bebout remain very vague about the real purpose of this massive land purchase. Are the citizens of Wyoming being asked to bail out Occidental Petroleum, since it is they who approached the state to buy the land? How does the purchase of one million acres contribute to state growth? These questions have gone unanswered. It leaves me to wonder if we would ever have known of this situation except that somehow, somewhere somebody got wind of it and made it known to the public. Why the secrecy? Who benefits? We can’t expand Medicaid but we can commit precious reserves to a questionable land deal, the purchase amount of which has heretofore not been revealed?

I am not content to allow the governor, Sen. Bebout and others to make decisions about my state without my input, given the political imbalance that exists in Wyoming. If you feel the same, let them know. Something is surely rotten in the state of Denmark, Wyoming.

Patricia McDaniel


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