Dirty Coal | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Dirty Coal 

Also: The One You're With, An Endangered Species

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Dirty Coal
We're sending coal to the Third World. Really? Maybe we think this will actually help those countries, but more than likely, it's about helping Utah's struggling coal industry. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah is poised to invest $53 million in a new California port to ensure shipments of mostly coal to Asia and South America. But wait: While coal generates 44 percent of U.S. energy, it is also the single biggest polluter, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, which notes that coal pollutes when it's mined, transported, stored and burned. Meanwhile, urban air pollution is estimated to kill 1.3 million a year, disproportionately in middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organization. We're not just talking about pollution somewhere else. Bad air travels across oceans and comes back. It's not a good idea from any perspective.

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The One You're With
We all love a little fluff once in a while. That's why we have Entertainment Tonight and, well, "feature" stories in newspapers. The Deseret News, always ready to cheer on family values, decided it was a good idea to look into how you know you're with the right person. A study from the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships says that the people you're with shape your self-image. Apparently, you have to ask yourself, "Does that person bring out the best in me?" because the happiest, most positive relationships lead to positive change. And we learn to watch out for arrogant, moody people, and even people with bad habits because they can become a "social allergy for a romantic partner." The story doesn't tell us what to do if we've picked one of these people, or if the right partner happens to be of the same sex.

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An Endangered Species
Imagine a Republican who is not former U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett striking out publicly against the majority party in the state. That's Sheryl Allen, a retired legislator, whose letter to the editor in The Salt Lake Tribune suggested facetiously that GOP chairman James Evans should institute his candidate-screening panel because it might get rid of all the closeted Libertarians in the party. Evans has been thinking of strategies to undermine a court-challenged compromise bypassing caucuses to nominate candidates. Allen said she's been called a RINO (Republican in Name Only) but is actually a moderate Republican. There were 57 comments on her letter, many wondering what a "moderate" Republican was. One said moderate Republicans became extinct when Utah Gov. J. Bracken Lee died in 1996.

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