You may remember when West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder was writing glowing newspaper ads in defense of EnergySolutions—even though he had questionable ties to the company. And then came the TV commercials, with trustworthy employees assuring the public that the company takes really good care of its nuclear waste and there’s nothing to fear. Now, as the state considers whether to grant water rights for a nuclear plant, Blue Castle Holdings is taking to the airwaves with its salutary message: “All is well; you need good, clean nuclear power in this state.” Who are they trying to convince? This project on the Green River will cost at least $100 million, and nuclear plants often take 12 years to build, not to mention the waits for regulatory approvals. Blue Castle wants lots of water from a water-starved state.
Well, it’s been a decade since Salt Lake City hosted the Olympic Winter Games, and the FBI has released 1,200 pages of documents relating to security. The records were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Salt Lake Tribune. It’s probably not a coincidence that it happened in the midst of heated campaigning by Mitt Romney, who led the games from a scandal-ridden beginning. Maybe there weren’t any major revelations, but the public got to see just how cozy Mitt was with then-FBI director Louis Freeh. Hey, they both had big families! Of course, the juicy stuff was probably in the 300 pages the FBI withheld from the Trib, but the banter among officials is still interesting, especially now that Salt Lake City is talking about revisiting the games with another bid down the road.
In Utah, it’s all about micromanaging. Legislators want the federal government to “give back” federal lands to the state, no doubt for oil exploration, roads and grazing. And now, Rep. John Mathis, R-Vernal, is shepherding House Bill 187, Agricultural Operation Interference, through the body. This is to ensure that people don’t photograph cows or minks or something on someone’s property. Right off, hikers wondered just who would be prosecuted if a cow negligently wandered into the frame of a shot, or if a kid snapped a shot. The bottom line is that farmers want a way to keep PETA activists out of their lives and businesses. Mathis has tried to clarify his bill, saying it only applies if you’re on private property, but again, it’s overkill.