The sign for Black Hills Exploration and Production in Bloomfield, New Mexico was head-snapping on the recent drive to Chaco Wash. So was the announcement that ecoterrorist Peabody Coal is sending their CEO to deliver the commencement speech at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology where a Peabody board member, an earth hater former US Representative from New Mexico, serves as president. Her twitter feed reveals quite the jet-setter life regularly flying home to Albuquerque and elsewhere. Fracking is happening just outside of Chaco threatening to trigger seismic activity under the fragile sacred site.
Intersecting with a blogger's obsession and Republicans plundering the earth for personal and corporate gain is a piece from guest writer University of Wyoming professor emeritus Peter Shive posted at WyoFile. Here are a few grafs:
Powerful external and internal voices argue that the University has failed to adequately serve the needs of the state, and that we must never offend the energy industries. Because of the importance of energy resources to Wyoming’s economy, we are encouraged to enter into “partnerships with energy.” Our newest college, the School of Energy Resources, is designed to foster such partnerships.
I saw the benefits of similar partnerships to my department colleagues, and in fact the new Geology building was built using excess funds from the Abandoned Mine Lands program, which would not have existed without Wyoming coal. These partnerships worked, and the key reason they worked was that there were no strings attached.
It is different now, because the strings (cables, actually) have been added. When legislators say, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you,” or threaten to reduce or remove university funding, and even suggest reprisals to individuals for offending an energy corporation, the message is that we must not carry out certain kinds of research projects or reach conclusions that an energy corporation might not like.
This kind of coercion is fatal. In certain areas of interest to the energy corporations, it will eventually drive away the legitimate researchers and replace them with the sort of scientists who used to work for the cigarette companies. However, if energy corporations need to not be offended, then their needs are not the same as the needs of the state. Why not? Because corporations sometimes lie or obstruct the search for the truth, because one of the duties of a university is to reveal the truth, and because one of the rights of its citizens should be to have access to the truth. Wyoming is not well served if it requires its own university to lie to its own citizens. [Shive, Corporations lie. So what? WyoFile with permission, links ip added]When Black Hills Corp. greases candidates like Heather Wilson while South Dakota's Board of Minerals and Environment makes conflicts of interest harder to find and the Public Utilities Commission is stacked with Republicans, the blur of the revolving door is head-snapping.
Opal, #Wyoming evacuated after explosion at nearby #natgas processing plant: http://t.co/m7i9plz4BL
— Stephanie May Joyce (@stephaniemjoyce) April 23, 2014