The Candidates: US Congress

By on November 2, 2016

US Congress

Candidates:Liz Cheney-R and Ryan Greene-D

[Editor’s note: Liz Cheney did not respond to multiple email requests for comment, so here is what we know about the candidate.]

Liz Cheney-R

Q: Wyoming has one of the highest wind power potentials of any state in the U.S. As the Cowboy State’s gas and coal industries continue to flounder, how much emphasis would you like to place on wind and how else should we diversify our energy industry?

“Oil, gas and coal provide the kind of affordable, reliable energy our country needs to run,” Cheney told the Saratoga Sun.

She said a nine-year permitting process for oil and gas projects was stifling investment and described these industries as “handcuffed” by federal regulations. The only area in which Cheney said she could foresee working with Democrats was in reversing the Clean Power Act with the help of Democratic representatives from coal-producing states.

“We cannot run the country on renewables, and we shouldn’t try to get there,” Cheney said during the October 24 general election debate.

Q: Tell me your thoughts on climate change. Do you join the majority of scientists who agree it is a manmade problem? What are the steps we should be taking now to mitigate its disastrous effects particularly in places like Jackson Hole, where the pristine environment is directly linked to the area’s economic vitality.

“I think that [the federal government’s] assertions about climate change are based on junk science,” Cheney told Laramie radio station KOWB. “But even if you agree with what they are saying, the administration itself admits that the steps it’s taking to kill our coal industry will have little or no impact overall on global temperatures.”

When asked in 2014 what the Republican Party should do to address climate change, she replied, “Nothing,” as reported in the Huffington Post.

In the October 24 debate, Cheney said she would dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.

Q: What role should the federal government play in Wyoming schools? What are Wyo. schools doing right and what do they need to improve?

When interviewed recently on Wyoming Public Media, Cheney told Bob Beck that she thinks the federal government needs to get out of the way when it comes to education. “There is a negative correlation between the department of education at the federal level and how our kids are doing. Common Core has got to go; it needs to be repealed. Common Core curriculum is wrong and teaching our kids things they shouldn’t be taught.

Q: What are your ties to Wyoming and why are you running?

Cheney claims she went to elementary school and high school in Casper. She has been living in Wilson since 2012. The Washington Post has noted that most of Cheney’s donations have come from outside Wyoming.

According to Fortune magazine, Cheney often describes herself as having the profile needed to change the federal policies she says cause big problems for Wyoming’s energy and agriculture industries.

Q: Have you been following the Dakota Access Pipeline construction and protests? If something similar to the Dakota Pipeline was proposed along, say, sacred land on the Wind River Reservation, how might you respond?

Cheney shows no signs of being a friend to Native people or sacred lands or water. Her father’s company, Haliburton, made $39.5 billion on the Iraq War, according to the International Business Times.

Newsweek noted that Halliburton was working on the Deepwater Horizon rig just before it blew up, opening the well and sending oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

The most she has said about the Wind River Reservation is that the situation there is “tragic,” in an interview with Wyoming Public Media.

Q: What issues matter to you most in the presidential election and who do you want to see in the White House?

Liz Cheney told the Associated Press in October that although Donald Trump’s remarks about women were appalling, she still supports him.

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Ryan Greene-D

Q: Wyoming has one of the highest wind power potentials of any state in the U.S. As the Cowboy State’s gas and coal industries continue to flounder, how much emphasis would you like to place on wind, and how else should we diversify our energy industry?

Greene: I’ve worked in Wyoming’s energy industry for 18 years. At Greene’s Energy Services, we provide labor and construction to all of Wyoming’s energy producers—from the coal mines to the wind farms. I work hand-in-hand with all of Wyoming’s energy producers on a daily basis, and I will proudly support all of them in Congress. With less than one-tenth of one percent of our nation’s population, Wyoming doesn’t steer national energy demands—so we have to make sure we’re equipped to provide the market with what it wants. As demands for cleaner energy rise, I will aggressively pursue federal grants for energy research, production, and transmission.

 Q: Tell me your thoughts on climate change. Do you join the majority of scientists who agree it is a manmade problem? What are the steps we should be taking now to mitigate its disastrous effects particularly in places like Jackson Hole, where the pristine environment is directly linked to the area’s economic vitality.

Greene: I stand with the majority of climatologists, 44 percent of congressional Republicans, and former U.S. President G.W. Bush in thinking that man has contributed to climate change. Here in Wyoming, environmental stewardship is tied to our quality of life, and our second largest economic driver: tourism. At the federal level, I’d work towards increasing commercial energy efficiency tax incentives. Helping Wyoming businesses utilize energy efficient industrial tools and equipment will help them save on utility bills, and minimize impacts on Wyoming’s great outdoors. Also, it would be a local decision, but Jackson Hole could always eliminate/charge for plastic bags like they do in Aspen, Colorado.

 Q: What role should the federal government play in Wyoming schools? What are Wyo. schools doing right and what do they need to improve on?

Greene: My wife teaches in a Wyoming public school, and our two children attend a Wyoming public school. I believe that the federal government should scale back its involvement with public schools, but establish a national framework that will ensure our kids can compete with other countries. Wyoming schools are doing a lot right—from fantastic technological resources to great teacher-to-student ratios. Also, the State of Wyoming reimburses school districts for special education funds, and I believe that should continue. One thing Wyoming schools could improve on is communicating with state legislators—who have mandated many tests that educators don’t see a need for.

Q: Have you been following the Dakota Access Pipeline construction and protests? If something similar to the Dakota Pipeline was proposed along, say, sacred land on the Wind River Reservation, how might you respond?

Greene: I have been following the events surrounding the construction of the Dakota Pipeline. I believe that the route was ill-considered and the project planning was short-sighted. If something like this was proposed for Wyoming, I would ensure that Wind River leadership would be a consistent presence in each step of the process—starting with route research. Ultimately, I would support Wind River leadership in whatever stance they may take.

Q: What are your ties to Wyoming and why are you running?

Greene: I’ve lived in Wyoming my entire life. I was born and raised in Rock Springs—where my wife and I have chosen to raise our family and operate a Wyoming small business. I’ve enjoyed exploring Wyoming’s public lands for decades, and I have a real stake in Wyoming’s future. I’m running for Congress because this is Wyoming’s fourth bust in 60 years, and we need to start taking a different approach with the folks we elect at every level. We need fewer party soldiers, and more working people that understand our economy and way of life.

Q: What issues matter to you most in the presidential election and who do you want to see in the White House?

Greene: Growing our economy, shrinking our debt, defending Social Security, and strengthening women’s rights are among the many issues that matter to me in the presidential election.

There are four former U.S. presidents living today, and not one of them is backing Trump. Who knows the job better than those that have done it? I will cast my vote for Clinton, because she is the only candidate that can do the job. PJH

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