Governor Meets With Media [AUDIO]
Wyoming's governor met with media in Cheyenne Wednesday. Foremost among the issues was the potential flooding the state faces with its snow-pack and spring rains. Gov. Matt Mead:
"We're in a better position than we were last year, as far as preparation, but we need to be, because the snow-pack is greater. We have a flood plan for Glendo, which we did not have last year. We have distributed roughly a million sand bags around the state. But the message that we wanted to get across is, looking at snow-packs the potential for flooding and the potential for damage is real."
At the governor's side was state Homeland Security Director Guy Cameron, who outlined the coordination steps they were taking from the state to the local level, and working with the Army Corps of Engineers in Carbon County, where flooding is of particular concern.
Circumstances can change for the worse:
"There are a number of variables that are going to come into play, the weather being that wildcard. Obviously we talk about the snow-pack that is facing us throughout Wyoming, but then, the other things that are going to happen here quickly--and we are already experiencing it this week--is we have some rain seasons that are going to come into play, as well as those warmer temperatures."
Mr. Cameron also emphasized individual preparedness and urged citizens to have an evacuation plan and make survival kits with food, water, clothing, important papers and a radio.
When Gov. Mead was asked if the state should raise mineral severance taxes as a recent Headwaters Economics report suggests Wyoming could, the governor said no.
Companies measure cost versus benefit:
"The fact is Wyoming is not the only game in town, with the increased abilities due to new technology, hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, lengths they can come to now, there's other places in the country these companies can go, and so I'm not in favor of raising the severance taxes."
Gov. Mead also said Wyoming intends to join in the lawsuit filed by Utah against the Interior Department streamlining wild land designation of public lands.
Secretarial order circumvents Congress:
"As Utah got going on theirs, I made the decision, and I have expressed this directly to Secretary Salazar, my concern about that is that it's a sort of virtual wilderness policy, and wilderness, the designation of wilderness needs to go through Congress, so that was the reason for the decision."