If you were upset that Gov. Gary Herbert donated to the Phil Lyman Recapture Canyon cause, then listen up. At least it was Herbert's own money. The Iron County Commission voted last week to put $20,000 of transient room tax toward the Western Freedom Festival next year. This is a purely political festival devoted to trashing progressive thinking. "The Western Freedom Festival is an attempt to educate the world about the negative impact progressive policies are having on the health, safety and welfare of citizens in the West," said a festival press release. U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart just loves the idea, saying the federal government has been a "lousy landlord," if you know what he means. A sad little group called Citizens for Government Responsibility in Southern Utah made no headway with the commission in getting public records related to the tax money.
Public Land Hit List
In fact, public lands were on the hit list this past week. Utah's Reps. Rob Bishop, Chris Stewart and Jason Chaffetz sent a pissy letter to the Department of Interior calling for more mineral leasing, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. And of course, the state is moving forward with suing the feds for the lands, despite legal experts calling it a foolish move. Then came the sentencing of San Juan Commissioner Phil Lyman—to a whole 10 days in jail. That this caused widespread stupefaction among those who had witnessed environmental activist Tim DeChristopher's sentencing to 21 months in prison. "This is not about Mr. Lyman but really about our rich heritage of convenient hypocrisy between privilege and everyone else," wrote Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill. And he is right.
EPA Public Input
Apparently, the EPA thinks it needs just a little more public input about cleaning Utah's air. Before you choke on the irony and the pollution, just remember we're dealing with bureaucracy. The good news is that one of the two proposals requires the installation of additional pollution controls to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide from the Rocky Mountain Power's coal-fired Hunter and Huntington plants. But the bad news is that one of the options—the state's—would just credit RMP for closing its Carbon plant. The state, according to KSL, says the "good" option is good only for a few remote areas, and won't address regional haze. But if you want some progress, then get out there and comment for the next 60 days. Submit comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2015-0463, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulations.gov