Utah lawmakers could learn a thing or two from EnergySolutions—about bribery. The Utah nuclear services company is offering the state a cool $100 million per year. (That’s on top of campaign contributions most lawmakers have already banked.) All lawmakers have to do is let ES import used nuclear-reactor parts from Europe for burial in Utah. The company promises to cut the state in on half the profit. The money could help solve the state’s short-term fiscal crisis. And the waste should lose a lot of its heat, after a century or so.
If lawmakers still need a reason to vote for the so-called Common Ground bills granting a few token protections to gays, it was provided in full-page newspaper ads taken out by opponents that appeared in the Sunday, Feb. 15, editions of both local daily newspapers. In one of the few comprehensible passages, the ad argued discriminating against gays was good. After all, if people couldn’t be fired or evicted simply for being gay, soon the gays will be “barbecuing in our yards.” Instead, homosexuals should be banned, “in our streets, shopping centers and in our lives.” The ad was a frightening glimpse beneath the bigots’ tinfoil hats to the sick heads inside. To their credit, lawmakers allowed a gay-adoption measure and two Common Ground bills to have committee hearings—although, at press time, at least one had been killed.
The people who kicked the United Nations out of LaVerkin (Take that, blue hats!) now want Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. out of the Western Climate Initiative—a cooperative effort of Western states to curb global-warming emissions. The nonbinding resolution sponsored by global-warming doubter Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, reasonably argues that regulating greenhouse gases could economically disadvantage Utah power plants that run on “Utah’s abundant and clean burning coal.” Ironically, one of the main reasons Huntsman has given for participation is that a globalwarming pact negotiated without Utah could really leave Utah’s fossil-fuel economy in the dust.