Interior Secretary Ken Salazar brought good news to Utah—unless you’re a coal- or nuclear-power advocate. Salazar said there are 17,700 acres of Bureau of Land Management land that could be considered “sweet spots” for solar-energy zones. He said it’s reasonable that some 1,219 megawatts of solar power could be produced on BLM land in Utah, and 406 megawatts of power produced on non-BLM land. This is finally a way to fast-track alternative energy and incentivize producers. The news came on the same day that Utahns heard that Blue Castle Holdings is submitting an early site application for two nuke plants at Green River. It’s doing seismic and environmental surveys, along with—ahem—evacuation plans for the area. Meanwhile, the governor is reconsidering his pledge to keep blended radioactive wastes from entering the state. So which is it: the sun or the atom?
You have to wonder if the Republican hierarchy is thinking philosophically or just politically. Take the case of Sen. Mike Lee, the apple-cheeked teapartier who trounced Sen. Bob Bennett in the last election. Lee is asking for an opinion about whether he can start his own super PAC, which would allow him to accept unlimited funds to influence elections. Senators have had “leadership” PACs, but they have some restrictions. Lee wants to control his PAC, and would be soliciting donations personally as a member of Congress. If this is a philosophical argument, then we wonder why Utah Sen. Howard Stephenson is all a-twitter about the U’s Hinckley Institute of Politics’ Kirk Jowers having a “vanity scholarship” in his name, and maybe directing its use. Stephenson thinks that’s unseemly, although we don’t know what he thinks of a member of Congress doing the same thing.
Talk about a firestorm! One LDS ward in Utah decided to set clear guidelines for its “trunk or treat” event, banning masks and “cross-gender dressing.” So what if your little girl wants to dress up as Bart Simpson? Isn’t that better than seeing her in Wonder Woman’s skimpy costume? Turns out the church’s policy is about masks for safety’s sake, but doesn’t address gender. This is what happens when you leave it to a lowly LDS bishop to set policy. He thought that was the directive, he says. Whatever. Kids just want to dress up—and usually as something they would never be in real life. It’s called make-believe.