Environmental Politics, Politics
Mike Noel: Conflicted
The Utah Rivers Council has filed an ethics complaint against Representative Mike Noel (R-Kanab 73) regarding apparent conflicts of interest, unsurprisingly connected to real estate development. Noel, who uses his elected office to make himself an anti-environmental nuisance, owns a large piece of undeveloped property in Kane County. When President Trump downsized Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument he opened up a route to build the billion-dollar Lake Powell Pipeline (LPP) project. The Trump monument boundary also has a peculiar cutout that goes right around Noel’s land. Connecting the dots, if the pipeline were built it would carry water directly past Noel’s land, and it seems Noel (who also serves as Director of the Kane County Water Conservancy District) may have already secured a water right from the yet unbuilt pipeline. With a reliable water supply, Noel’s land would be far more valuable for development. If the Lake Powell Pipeline ever is built, the public would have to pay for super-expensive water, but Noel himself would get rich. For years, Noel has used his position as Rules Chair to engage in strong advocacy for the Lake Powell Pipeline, but he has never registered as a lobbyist for the Water Conservancy District or disclosed his real estate holdings.
Utah Rivers Council: utahrivers.org