Monday, March 2, 2009

Suck It Up

Another set of local bills that stifle the transition from coal to clean energy sources recently surfaced in the Utah State Legislature. Sponsered by Roger E. Barrus (R - District 18), these three bills are focused mainly on the dissemination of power to the state legislature and the Air Quality Board in regards to pollution. Although a restructuring of the responsibility and oversight of these government agencies may seem like a good idea, the proverbial fine print speaks otherwise.

HB 190: http://le.utah.gov/~2009/bills/hbillint/hb0190.pdf
HB 191: http://le.utah.gov/~2009/bills/hbillint/hb0191.pdf
HB 412: http://le.utah.gov/~2009/bills/hbillint/hb0412.pdf

The Air Quality Board will be limited in entering interstate agreements, preventing the Governor to work in cooperation with other States to improve air quality. Instead of the Air Quality Board having oversight in regulating pollution, the state legislature will have control to dictate who and how pollution will be monitored. My favorite line is that the legislature will be allowed to "accept, receive, and administer grants or other funds or gifts from public and private agencies.." So unless you have the money to convince the legislature otherwise, big business (i.e. big desecrating business), will have a chance to spew more filth into the air. Take a deep breath Utah!

*cough*

1 comment:

RandyF said...

What's interesting about this is it means the legislature is taking control of things. This is the "far right conservative" legislature that SHOULD be espousing less government intervention, but instead is just hoarding power.

In an email conversation with Rep. Barrus, he claims this is to prevent a "cap and trade" system from being imposed on us. (As if the state legislature could trump federal law anyway.) For some reason, cap and trade has become a liberal idea that the conservatives are supposed to hate. They always point to the mistakes made in the EU recently as to why we shouldn't do it. But they forget that it was right here in the US that the cap and trade system was pioneered. In about 1990, we set up a similar system for sulfur dioxide. It was met with much skepticism then, but has turned out to be an excellent system that hasn't cost much for industry, but has drastically reduced SO2 emissions.

The lame legislature needs to stop kowtowing to the Limbaugh wannabes and open their eyes!