3.16.2006

30,000 new wells in Wyoming

With a population of less than 4 people per square mile, Wyoming is a vast vast of vastness with more prarie goats and wind-bent cottonwoods than liberalistas.

There's really only one party ... the GOP ... but the pro-marijuana guys run as republican.

And in the last year 30,000 new wells were drilled in Dick Cheney's home state. Reports from friends about previously unmarred landscapes around Pinedale (south of the kingdom of Jackson Hole) indicate that it's been "ruined" and "drilled beyond recognition."

Now comes the payoff. Since there's no state income tax to cut, the benefits of the Energy Tax went straght to the voters:

* Money has been provided for wildlife protection, according to the NY Times. Of course, they're also planning on delisting the bald eagle and grey wolf from the Endangered Species List.

* A $100 million tax cut this year eliminated the sales tax on groceries. More eagle meat for me!

* $2.1 billion cash infusion to its public elementary and secondary schools over the next two years — a 24 percent increase in spending, all from energy taxes — could vault the state to first or second in the nation in per-pupil spending, from seven. Intriguingly enough, based on the way Wyoming divvies up their school cash, this will massively benefit almost the entire state ... and will barely change things in the liberal bastion of Teton County.

* A $505 million endowment set aside by the Legislature in March will allow the university and the two-year community colleges to go on a hiring spree. Can't complain there ...

* Scholarship money for most of the state's graduating high school seniors will be available starting this fall, with a nearly free education for top students who have taken the toughest courses. Once again, no worries at all....

* No announcement has been made about funding for removal of a bumper sticker, seen throughout Casper and the ghost-boom towns that fill central Wyoming ... It refers to the 70s oil bonanaza and the resulting hangover: "Please God, Give Us Another Oil Boom And We Promise We Won't Piss It Away This Time."

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