Some Coloradans Want to Break Off and Join Wyoming. They Should at Least Get to Vote On It.
Last month, a group of activists in Weld County, Colorado began floating the idea that the county should leave Colorado and be annexed by the state of Wyoming.
Weld county borders Wyoming on the north and runs southward to the northern part of the metro Denver area. It is the ninth largest county in Colorado by population, containing more than 252,000 residents. Were it to join Wyoming, it would become the largest Wyoming county—by far—in terms of population. With a population of only 580,000, Wyoming’s overall population would increase by 43 percent were the state to annex Weld County.
The Weld County secessionists are now pushing a ballot measure that would instruct Weld County commissioners to explore the annexation with Wyoming. Even with the success of a very weak ballot measure like this, the county would still be still be a long, long way from an effective secession and annexation. Nonetheless, the governor of Wyoming, Mark Gordon, has already expressed jumped on the bandwagon, telling a Denver-based radio station that he supports the idea.
The response from opponents has been a predictable mixture of mockery and hostility. The Colorado governor, Jared Polis, told Gordon to keep his “hands off Weld County.” One local resident called the effort “ridiculous.” But hostilities between county residents and the state government are sure to remain. One pro-secession activist contended the state government “is at war with three major economic drivers for Weld County: small businesses, agriculture, and oil and gas.”
These comments stem from fights between county residents and the state government over stay-at-home orders, water, and resource extraction.
During the stay-at-home order imposed by the governor last spring, Weld County was among the few counties that refused to enforce state mandates on business closures. Governor Polis responded by threatening to withhold emergency funds from the county. The county quickly brushed off his threat and noted it had already received its emergency funds and wasn’t planning to request any more. The county has also declared it will not enforce state orders regarding the wearing of masks indoors.
On top of this, the administration has clashed with county officials and residents over matters of water use and environmental regulation related to oil and gas extraction, which comprise a major part of the county’s economy and employment.
What Is the Moral Argument Against Secession?
Legally, a region of a state must jump through many hoops to leave one state and join a
Article from Mises Wire