Weld wants to secede to Wyoming? Let’s think this through.

The Colorado county might learn that liberty has its limits

An oil pump jack is pictured in the middle of a traffic circle at a new residential development in Weld County on June 24, 2020. (Andy Bosselman for Colorado Newsline)

Oh no, Colorado’s Weld County wants to move north again.

According to the Associated Press, Colorado’s Weld County, the state’s fracking epicenter, has once again had enough of us freedom-hating scoundrels living to the south of them. They’re tired of our belly-aching about air quality. If you want pickups and diesel fuel, you gotta have gas, and Weld is gassing us. And don’t forget the jobs, and the children’s lunch buckets, and the backpacks, and the pencils the oil industry provides to kids in Weld. Is this not a wondrous bonding of industry and people in pursuit of the common good? Why do we want to destroy all that?

Tired of the criticism from Denver parents who are jealous their kids don’t get free lunch buckets and pencils from the industry, they want liberation, and they want it now. They want to be Wyoming, where coal is cheap, gun racks are bountiful, and all the children leave as soon as they can drive. We don’t know how many “they” is, but it’s at least one ruffled gentleman who threatens secession, once again.

Maybe this is an idea whose time has come? Since we’re in the age of the absurd, let’s think this through.

We should start by reclaiming the water from the Colorado Big Thompson project. It’s a federal project but by law the water belongs to the people of Colorado. Wyoming has its own water under the compact. That solves our water problem and leaves Weld high and dry.

Then Wyoming would be saddled with cleanup of all those wells in Weld, 50,000 or so? There goes Wyoming’s education trust fund and a lot more.

We could sell them University of Northern Colorado for a pretty penny and could introduce a partitioning plan like was done in India in 1948. All those who didn’t want to leave Colorado would be given a resettlement right and money to resettle in other counties of the state with better air quality. That would probably amount to almost half the county seeking safety.

The downside? We would still suffer the invasion of the poison from the fracking fields, but it wouldn’t be any worse than it is now, and we’d still have the bonus of transferring the cleanup liability to Wyoming.

The exchange of U.S. senators would be of no measurable consequence either way. Rep. Ken Buck would lose his seat unless Wyoming’s population increased enough with the annexing of Weld to add another representative, which is doubtful. And Buck is no match for a run against the former vice president’s daughter and the rest of the Cheney clan.

And most importantly the likes of state Rep. Barbara Kirkmeyer and “he who will wear no mask,” the legendary ex-Wild West lawman, Rep. John Cooke — in fact, most of the Weld County delegation — would no longer befoul nesting space under the Dome.

Alas, while most people would gladly vote twice for Weld’s departure to windier weather, it would be vetoed by the oil industry, and, make no mistake, though broke, they still own the state. If the wells in Weld became part of Wyoming, they’d pay an effective severance tax rate of 5%. In Colorado the effective rate has been less than 1% in recent years. Hell, 4% can buy you a lot of happiness, maybe even a legislator or two. Liberty does have its limits. And to top it all off, we have Einstein’s observation that there are only two things that are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and he wasn’t too sure about the former.