Conservationist in favor of industry

Re: Brook Mine permit

I am a conservationist and neighbor of the proposed Brook Mine and its related new research and carbon manufacturing parks. My family and I have followed these projects for many years and we strongly support them because they create the type of new jobs and diversification this community has needed for a long time.

I now feel compelled to reply to the recent release of Powder River Basin Resource Council and its opinion piece, “The Process Works.”

How does the “process work” when those selfishly opposing this brilliant carbon research and manufacturing plan require us to give them more consideration than the entire community at large.

How does the “process work” when a small vocal group with friendly media connections try to stop needed new jobs in attractive fields like research and tech, which might keep our young families in Sheridan?

Are the Powder River Basin Resource Council and its advocates (who attempt to stop all forms of fossil development in our state), working toward long-term, good paying jobs in our community?

The answer is no!

Now, after the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality all but allowed the Brook plan to proceed, it is now stalled due to vague technicalities initiated by PRBRC and company. These self-satisfied individuals have their wealth and are not interested in anyone else in the community. I guess for them and their own selfish interests, the process worked.

But what about the rest of our community? What about people who would like to have good-paying jobs? What about young people who would like an opportunity to raise their families here in Sheridan, where they grew up and not have to move to find a job? What about the people graduating Sheridan College, who we send away to look for employment?

I’m glad Ramaco seems to be willing to keep working with the DEQ, make positive changes in their plans beyond legal requirements it has already met and still try and see this project through to the finish line. Investing in our community’s future is what the majority of us want. We do not want to drive off new jobs; we want to attract and keep them here. Unlike the view of a narrow few, the “process works” if that is the goal and that is also the result.

Tom Laya