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Wyoming Land Purchase Agreement

A: The state was only interested in what it took to buy the property. The governor, legislative leaders and the other four national elected officials saw this as an opportunity that should be carefully considered. About 48% of Wyoming`s land is owned by the federal government. The land and mineral rights in this area originally belonged to the federal government, but were later sold to the Union Pacific Railroad (UP). UP then sold its shares to Anadarko. Occidental acquired the assets of Anadarko through a merger of these companies. To move forward, due diligence must demonstrate that this property could be a significant long-term investment that provides government revenue for generations to come. This purchase should also have proved to be an opportunity to open up large multi-use areas, including grazing, recreation, public access, energy (including wind, solar, coal, oil and gas) and mining development (Trona and other minerals). These natural resources could be exploited by private companies, not by the State, and provide the State with additional revenues.

The purchase should have shown that it was a prudent investment that brought reasonable returns. Q: What could this purchase have meant for outdoor recreation? Many of the elements of this bill have drawn attention to public processes, transparency, information on the nature and cost of the purchase, the portfolios that should house which parts of the asset, where the income would go, how the assets would be managed, and so on. Although the governor vetoed the bill in March, he has committed to following the parameters set out in the bill as much as possible. The bill simply described a cumbersome and inefficient process. In addition, most regulations recommended either what should happen if we could buy the asset or what we should do before buying. Our offer was not a purchase, it was simply an invitation – if accepted – to start negotiating a “purchase and sale contract” or PSA. Moving forward, as SLIB did, was not a way to short-circuit any of these considerations. Q: If the government had used mutual funds for this purchase, would that have meant that we would lose the short-term investment value of those funds until that source of income was replaced? A: Yes, there will be transaction costs like this.

However, based on expert advice, it is expected that short-term losses would be more than offset within a reasonable period of time if Wyoming purchased the assets. The state currently receives revenue through severance tax and a share of federal mineral royalties on coal, oil, gas and barter. Had the purchase taken place, the crown would still receive its share of federal mineral royalties on federally owned assets. If the state became the owner of Occidental`s mining assets, revenues from those assets could increase several times. A: The state currently manages millions of surface and mineral areas throughout Wyoming through the Board of Land Commissioners. .

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