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Environmental Politics, Think

Environews: Many ways to spend $100 million to improve Utah’s air quality

In his proposed 2019 budget, Utah Governor Gary Herbert included a one-time allocation of  $100 million (up from a more typical $4 million) to help improve Utah’s air quality. If o …

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Environmental Politics, Think

Environews: Environmental impacts of the government shutdown

Environmental stewardship suffered during the partial government shutdown that began on December 22, 2018 over the refusal of the U.S. Congress to fund a border wall. Furloughed em …

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Environmental Politics, Think

Environews: Coal plants uneconomic

A 2018 report from the Sierra Club found that coal-fired power plants in Utah cost more to operate than if they were using wind or solar energy. Unexpectedly, Pacificorp (the paren …

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Environmental Politics, Think

Environews: Dust is melting Utah’s snow

Researchers at the University of Utah found that declining water in the Great Salt Lake causes snow to melt earlier in the Wasatch Mountains. Deposits of dark-colored dust absorb h …

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Environmental Politics

Environews: Utah State of the Environment 2018

In January, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) released its annual State of the Environment Report. The report details environmental permitting, enforcement and re­ …

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Environmental Politics

Environews: Utah Legislature 2019 General Session, January 28-March 14

Each year the Utah Legislature considers various laws that affect clean air, clean water, public lands, wildlife and other environmental concerns. Surprisingly, legislators often d …

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Environmental Politics

Utah State of the Environment

Utah Legislature 2019 General Session, January 28-March 14 Each year the Utah Legislature considers various laws that affect clean air, clean water, public lands, wildlife and othe …

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Environmental Politics

Environews: Alta Ski Area behaving badly

Alta Ski Area, long considered an industry leader for sustainability, has tarnished its image by obstructing Wasatch Mountains conservation planning. At a December meeting, Alta op …

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Environmental Politics

Environews: Stewart slips public lands attack into Farm Bill

Representative Chris Stewart (R-UT-2) slipped an attack on Utah public lands into the 2018 Farm Bill that passed in December. The misnamed “Sage-Grouse & Mule Deer Conservation …

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Environmental Politics

Environews: Scandal-plagued Zinke calls it quits

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, formerly a congressman from Montana, has announced his resignation due to charges of corruption and misconduct. Zinke will be remembered in Utah for …

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Environmental Politics

Environews: Activists protest BLM lease sale

In December, environmentalists and climate change activists gathered to protest a particularly objectionable Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oil & gas lease sale. Under the Tru …

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Environmental Politics

Environews: Public lands drilling & greenhouse gas emissions

A new report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that fossil fuels extracted from federal public land account for 23.7% of the nation’s total CO2 emissions. Public lan …

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Environmental Politics

Environews: Inland Port may restart Legacy Parkway fight

Fifteen years ago, Utah citizens fought hard to mitigate environmental impacts of building the Legacy Parkway which runs through Great Salt Lake wetlands. They succeeded in getting …

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Environmental Politics

Environews: Bear River in trouble

In December the Utah Board of Water Resources met in a closed-door meeting to approve $5 million for development of the Bear River. Diversion of Bear River water would be catastrop …

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Environmental Politics

Environews: Climate change in the Southwest

The Fourth National Climate Assessment Vol. II, released in November, includes a regional report on climate change impacts, risks and adaptation in the Southwest United States. The …

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