A Sporting Try
It's either "better late than never" or "too little, too late" for Spencer Cox. Gephardt Daily put it this way: "In what appeared to be an honest attempt to foster a more civil tone in Utah's political discourse, the incoming governor wove a masterful narrative in a 14-tweet thread Saturday morning, tying his thoughts on sports, politics, fanaticism and eating broccoli to the last-minute action of Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, on Wednesday, designed to limit school-teacher bonuses to districts that have some form of in-person classes." Good try. Cox spent considerable time praising House Speaker Wilson, assuming he had the best of intentions in withholding stipends to Salt Lake City schoolteachers because their classes are still online. Still, this has happened too often to support good intentions. The Legislature generally jumps at the chance to punish the liberal stronghold of Salt Lake City—even at Christmastime and during a pandemic. But, thanks for the sentiment, Mr. Cox.
His Argument Has Holes
There are some 24 million golfers in America, 77 percent of whom are male with an average age of 54—not exactly your wilderness-hiking types. How many of these testosterone-packed sportsmen will be going to Kane County whose natural wonders far outpace any groomed, grassy and thirsty golf course? This is just one of the questions facing the Kane County Water Conservancy District, run by former lawmaker and rural booster Mike Noel. He wants the district to foot the bill for 18 holes of fun in this water-starved region of Utah, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Noel claimed recreation was part of the district's mission, which it is not, and that it will bring more tourism to Kane, which is doubtful. But more troubling is whether this is yet another argument for the Lake Powell Pipeline because Kane will need more water.
Chill the Drill
Everyone knows Utah loves drilling, the environment be damned. The state is so determined to maintain its fossil fuels that there are scarce plans to encourage alternative energy sources. And so, it was no surprise that a state-funded study from the University of Wyoming showed that a development ban from the incoming Biden administration could cost Utah $15 billion over 20 years, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Of course, this assumes a lack of mitigation over those years. Meanwhile, Utah tar sands took a little hit when the BLM's new state manager called out a conflict of interest by one of their contract employees who also purchased federal oil and gas leases. Still, this was nothing new. The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance has been questioning these transactions since 2010. The state needs to start paying attention to our energy future.