Mike Noel is at it again, though it's difficult to know just what he's at. The Kanab representative's "Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Amendments," House Bill 135, appears to be an effort to get the "rock lickers" of Salt Lake City out of the watershed-protection business. But once you get past that part of the bill, you may need to ask about this: "A city of the first class shall provide a highway in and through the city's corporate limits, and so far as the city's jurisdiction extends, that may not be closed to cattle, horses, sheep, or hogs driven through the city of the first class," the proposed bill reads. It adds that the legislative body can place "under police regulation the manner" of driving the animals around. It looks like this could just add to the city's pollution problem, forcing cars to idle—and bringing in a lot of methane gas.
A Red-Taped Blessing
Speaking of water, just say goodbye to a lot of it. The proposed $1 billion Lake Powell Pipeline would "suck 77 million gallons a day out of Lake Powell, threatening the Colorado River," according to calculations from the Utah Rivers Council. It's all about providing water to the desert areas in Southern Utah—with no thought of conservation. The good news, however, is that Utah is now asking federal regulators to hold up on their decision to fast-track the project. That's mainly because they just realized that other federal agencies might have a say in the pipeline. You know, red tape. So while we step back and take a breath, perhaps officials can start to talk conservation and why the area will need six hydroelectric turbines.
No Death or Dignity
The case of Jchandra Brown is unfortunate because, as Utah County district court Judge James Brady wrote in the ruling, she was "an impressionable minor who could have benefited from support, counseling or therapy." That, however, doesn't call for a law against assisted suicide, such as the one proposed by Rep. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork. One of the comments on a Deseret News story expresses the concern: "As someone who has a non-curable cancer, I will likely face the choice of death with dignity or being a vegetable. While I'm not sure what I will [choose] at that time, the choice should be mine, and my family, and not some attorney politician." Utah, specifically Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake City, has tried unsuccessfully three times to pass a law on "Death with Dignity." Lawmakers must distinguish between compassion and callousness.