Tim Stubson: Win Back the West

Tim Stubson    6-2, 2016

As I have traveled around the state over the last three months, it has become clear that Wyoming stands at a point of economic crisis. Today I am unveiling my plan to win back the West. Being Wyoming’s sole congressman is about more than making grandiose promises on the campaign trail. It’s about having a real understanding of the issues and a realistic, comprehensive strategy for addressing them.

The plan that I’m putting forward today builds on the constitutional powers of Congress, the power of the purse, amending must pass legislation, including language in base bills. It is a plan that doesn’t just include promises. Instead, it is a strategy for fighting for Wyoming’s interests going forward.

Nowhere is that more important than in the production of our resources, especially coal. I have heard friends and colleagues tell me that coal is dead. That’s simply not true. There are market struggles, but there are simple straight-forward steps that we can take as a federal government that will preserve and protect coal for generations to come.

I have lived and worked in Wyoming my entire life, and I appreciate the issues people face. My father and grandfather worked in the energy sector during many of Wyoming’s boom and bust cycles. I have friends throughout the state who work in the Powder River Basin today. We are no longer looking at the old boom-bust cycle that, that those of us who have been here for more than a few years have weathered. We are watching the death-throws of an industry that has built this state into what it is today. We need decisive and immediate action.

Winning back the West is about much more than coal it is also about preserving our Western way of life. That means fighting for opportunity and innovation. We need local control of our resources. We need public access to our lands. We need regulations that protect and support our people. We need Wyoming’s problems fixed by folks that have an actual stake in its future.

That’s why I’m proposing a charter forest and charter rangeland initiative that would allow states to manage federal land in new and innovative ways that federal rules simply do not allow. It’s about having the authority to manage our wildlife in a way that honors our stewardship and the people that live on the land. It’s about defunding efforts to impose duplicative and wasteful rules on our oil and gas industry. And it’s about protecting against efforts to regulate what happens on the land by a misapplication of the clean water act.

Folks who live in Wyoming know what the West is. They use its waters and tend its lands. They recreate in its mountains and lakes. And their families prosper from its resources. For me, the Wyoming is still the frontier. It lies between civilization and wilderness. I think it’s just as unique as the people who choose to live in it. I know that the West is where things are free enough for there to be opportunity, and civilized enough for innovation to thrive.

I want to preserve our Western way of life. That means fighting for opportunity and innovation. We must win local control over our resources. We must have public access to the people’s lands. The only regulations we need are those that protect and support Wyoming people. If we are a free people, we must have the liberty — and the right — to control our destiny.