State of Utah Archives: on Environment

Gary Herbert: Re-opened National Parks during 2013 shutdown

I see the Utah spirit as we set aside differences and work together for the common good. I witnessed this firsthand in the Fall of 2013. The gateway communities for our national parks were facing millions of dollars of lost revenue if the parks stayed closed as part of the federal government shutdown.

We immediately reached out to the Interior Secretary. And I still remember vividly our first conversation. She agreed that it would be best for the parks to reopen but that nothing could be done.

My response was "rather than talk about what we can't do, let's talk about what we can do." And within 72 hours from that call, with the support of local communities and legislative leadership the parks reopened and the tourists returned.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Utah Legislature Jan 4, 2017

Misty Snow: Keep public lands open: federal control instead of state

We must keep public lands open. I stand with the 71% of Utahns that support the designation of Bears Ears National Monument. Not only would the Bears Ears Proposal protect almost 2 million acres of land sacred to many Tribes, but it would also stimulate the economy in the surrounding areas.

The president has the authority to designate national monuments, and I support his use of it to protect Bears Ears. The state legislature does not have the resources to care for the lands of which they are trying to gain control. They only want to gain control of this land so that it can be sold to private hands, which would end public access to this land forever.

Our legislators could be standing with Native American Tribes, small business owners, and the majority of Utahns. Instead they have chosen to file a frivolous $14 million bound-to-fail lawsuit against the federal government to try to gain control over these lands. Their actions are both unethical and fiscally irresponsible.

Source: 2016 Utah Senate campaign website Aug 8, 2016

Mike Weinholtz: Air polluters know they are unlikely to be caught

Utah has become infamous for our pollution, especially during inversion season when our cities have some of the worst air quality in the nation. The harm is real and affects nearly every Utahn. Our dirty air means children can't play outside, causes pregnancy complications, leads to premature death, and scares companies and families from relocating to our otherwise beautiful state.

Air quality is complicated and requires a multi-pronged solution. As governor, I will give the Division of Air Quality the tools they need, work with industries to find mutually beneficial solutions, and reduce personal and vehicle emissions.

The Division of Air Quality (DAQ) is consistently underfunded and can't afford enough enforcement officers to catch the cheaters. Polluters know they are unlikely to be caught, and even if they are, it will take years for an investigation to turn into prosecution. I will fight to increase DAQ funding to let polluters know we will no longer tolerate their actions.

Source: 2016 Utah gubernatorial campaign website Jun 17, 2016

Vaughn Cook: Tougher pollution-control mandates to improve air quality

Cook's platform calls for raising Utah's minimum wage, with potential exemptions for smaller and startup companies; tougher pollution-control mandates to improve air quality; expansion of Medicaid programs covering the poor; and greater transparency with an end to closed-door caucuses on Utah's Capitol Hill.

The fifth-generation Utahn previously served as chairman of the Utah County Democratic Party. He co-founded the Utah Centrist Democratic Council, a group Cook described as seeking political solutions based "in the consensus of common sense" rather than "the extreme, uncompromising edges of the political spectrum."

"Used to be," Cook said, "that compromise was not a dirty word in Utah politics."

Source: Salt Lake Tribune on 2016 Utah Gubernatorial race Mar 1, 2016

Gary Herbert: Push refineries to produce cleaner fuel

Our environmental challenges won't be solved with hyperbole or misinformation. We must invest our limited resources in programs and technology that will actually work, not just rhetoric that ignores common sense. That's why I am continuing to push for our refineries to produce much cleaner Tier 3 fuel as soon as possible. This is one of the most effective steps we can take to improve air quality.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Utah legislature Jan 27, 2016

Gary Herbert: Utah must commit to protecting its natural resources

We are currently enjoying a wet winter, but we know from history it may not always be that way. We are currently enjoying a wet winter, but we know from history it may not always be that way. That's why my budget also calls for funds to help find long-term solutions to our water supply to accommodate future needs. We must make an individual and collective commitment to be good stewards of our land, our air and our water.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Utah legislature Jan 27, 2016

Jonathan Johnson: Air quality retains and attracts business

Air quality is a top issue for retaining and attracting business in Utah. Our valleys' air has a natural tendency to quickly become over polluted increasing health problems and costs while decreasing our overall quality of life. Everyone along the Wasatch front shares the same air and responsibility to improve the conditions. To do this Utah should consider implementing tier three fuel standards, drastically cutting vehicle emissions, which accounts for the majority of the pollution in our state.
Source: 2016 Utah Gubernatorial campaign website, Dec 10, 2015

Dan Liljenquist: States' right to control public land

While in St. George the would-be U.S. senator for Utah talked a lot about the state's rights. He said that he supported Utah's efforts to gain control of the public land. When asked about the Lake Powell pipeline he said that as a U.S. Senator he would fight to keep the federal government out of the argument. He said that it is a local issue and that the federal government should let us figure it out and do whatever is best for us.
Source: on 2012 Utah Senate debate May 20, 2012

Gary Herbert: Balance land use between recreation and development

Governor Herbert announced that Utah has filed suit asking the court to invalidate Secretarial Order 3310 which created a "Wild Lands" designation for public lands. In Utah, our lands have supported a strong energy development industry and a vibrant outdoor recreation industry. They can continue to do so if all stakeholders are allowed to collaborate. This Order will harm Utah's economy. Corporations will not invest resources to prepare new bids in an unsteady regulatory environment.
Source: 2011 Utah gubernatorial press release #4745 Apr 29, 2011

Mike Leavitt: Spruce up, clean up and keep up our state parks

In a world where most jobs can be located anywhere, now, more than ever, preserving our quality of life is an economic imperative. The natural beauty of Utah and opportunities for recreation are a major draw. For this reason I ask you to join me in a major drive to spruce up, clean up and keep up our state parks and monuments. These are our heritage.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Utah legislature Jan 16, 2001

Mike Leavitt: Heritage Waters: 1% of all rivers for recreational fishing

I propose a new initiative to devote one percent of our streams and rivers to truly great fly fishing. By dedicating these waters to quality catch-and- release fisheries, and by devoting the revenue they generate to improving streams and habitat, we can create a system of Heritage Waters that will not only preserve a wonderful part of our culture and recreation, but it will be an economic boon for the areas in which these waters reside.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Utah legislature Jan 16, 2001

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Page last updated: Feb 13, 2018