Changing the Climate: It’s Time for Wyoming to Start Leading the Way


“On July 18, 2013, Detroit, Michigan—the cradle of the American auto industry—became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy.

This was yet another reminder of the spectacular collapse of a city that used to be one of the most culturally and economically vibrant places in the world.

It was also a reminder of how profoundly the fortunes of a local economy can change.

Wyoming, at the moment, is doing very well. Our economy is thriving, driven largely by fossil fuel extraction and energy sales. But history tells us (and many Wyomingites can attest) that we can be certain of only one thing: change will come. The current boom will not continue forever.

And unless we, as citizens and leaders, commit to driving innovation now—when times are good and we can afford it— we will likely struggle to replace those jobs and revenues when they disappear.”


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4 comments on “Changing the Climate: It’s Time for Wyoming to Start Leading the Way
  1. Karl says:

    Detroit failed because of the democrats handing out money like drunk sailors at port. Not because the auto industry was in a rapid decline. Where do you people learn how to research your writing??? Oh I forgot the same public institutions that suspend first and second graders for a gun shaped pop tart.

    • Enrico Moretti is a highly regarded economist, whose book The New Geography of Jobs is generally considered, by economists of all political stripes, as one of the best works in economics to come out in recent years. The interview quoted in my piece, which includes the statements about the failures of Detroit, was between Enrico Moretti and Russ Roberts. Roberts is the John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow of the Hoover Institution — he is a well known conservative, Hayekian economist. You might want to do some of your own research before seeking to impeach mine.
      –Chris Merrill

  2. Nick says:

    Great piece Chris. Very important topic for all communities, especially in the west to tackle.

  3. Paul says:

    Wyoming can look forward to becoming Neo Appalachia if they don’t plan to transition away from fossil fuels. The vast majority of wealth is extracted and shipped out forever and a toxic moonscape is left behind. Hopefully they actually follow up on this idea. But it won’t be easy. Suppression of legitimate alternative employment is a central part of the FF extraction playbook.

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