What the heck is wrong with our elected officials? First, they welcome a private, for-profit corporation’s plans to build a immigrant prison in Evanston. Now, some legislators are maneuvering the political process to allow the storage of radioactive, used fuel from nuclear reactors in Wyoming.

These folks come around every two years asking for your vote. They always promise to “diversify” Wyoming’s economy, and now we know. This is the best they can do?

These are the farmers Jesus talked about. You remember how they sowed seeds? Erratically, like they had no idea what they were doing. Some seeds fell along the path, and birds came and ate them. Others fell on rocky places with shallow soil. When the sun shined on them, they withered. Other seeds fell among thorns and produced nothing.

Neither an immigrant prison in Evanston nor turning Wyoming into a graveyard for radioactive nuclear fuel will produce anything but an evil harvest.

Why is it that some elected officials are willing to devalue themselves and our state with them? Honestly, since the day the railroads and mining companies first came a-knocking, Wyoming has always been a bit like the ladies of the night who frequented those railroad and mining towns. Like them, our politicians believe we can’t make a go of it unless we sell body and soul.

Anyone who comes through the door waving a few bucks and promising a good time is welcome, regardless of how drunk they are or how crazy they appear.

Marketing oneself that way will attract customers. Those hookups may well produce offspring. But it might be offspring the parent won’t be proud to show off and say, “Doesn’t he look just like his father?” Indeed, the father won’t hang around to help raise that child.

Just like those bankrupt coal companies leaving unpaid workers and unpaid taxes in their wake, operators of the immigrant prison in Evanston will bring shame to Wyoming and will one day, after Donald Trump becomes history, close their doors and walk away. They’ll leave a local economy disheveled by their hiring practices, empty homes in foreclosure, and decaying buildings with no use but to serve as another monument to shortsighted politicians.

And when that first truck wreck spills hazardous materials along the streets of one of our communities, or the storage sites leak radioactive poison into our water sources and otherwise threatens public safety, there will be no other sucker-state or federal agency willing to save us from ourselves. The nuclear power companies will abandon us like the one night stand we agreed to be.

Some of you are old enough to remember a couple of earlier bad ideas some of our politicians glommed onto. Remember the coal slurry pipeline? A few out-of-state entrepreneurs suggested they build a pipeline from Wyoming to Texas and use our limited supply of underground water to move coal from here to there. A lot of politicians saw dollar signs, and it took years to drive a stake through the heart of that water-sucking vampire.

Remember Project Wagon Wheel? El Paso Natural Gas Company came a-calling. They wanted to detonate nuclear bombs under the fragile geological formations in northwest Wyoming in order to free natural gas reserves.

Wyoming historian Ann Noble of Pine- dale wrote about it for wyohistory.org. “El Paso Natural Gas revealed that the initial experiment would involve five 100-kiloton devices detonated sequentially underground, a few minutes apart, in a single well at depths ranging from 9,220 feet to 11,570 feet.”

As lunatic as that sounds today, a lot of legislators and other politicians, including the governor, were excited by the potential for “economic development.” It took a heroic grassroots campaign to stop the nuttiness.

It will now take another heroic grassroots campaign to stop the immigrant prison in Evanston and radioactive waste coming to Wyoming. Calling all heroes. Now is the time to show how much more you value Wyoming than do too many of those we elect to represent us.

Rodger McDaniel lives in Laramie and is the pastor at Highlands Presbyterian Church in Cheyenne. Email: rmc81448@gmail.com.

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