Polluted Panel | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Polluted Panel 

Also: GOP Talk, Lake Celebration

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Polluted Panel
The community should be up in arms over the impending demise of the so-called clean-air board, which is not a clean-air board at all. Senate Bill #275 created the Alternative Energy Interlocal Entity Board, which clean-air advocates hoped would look at ways to scrub the air. In fact, the board was stacked with members from the petroleum industry, a gas corporation, the transit authority and various government types. Its purpose was to help build and maintain natural gas stations while the Public Service Commission explored ways to clean the air. The bill allowed for recouping of costs, but only by going through a public process. It was all too hard. Someone wanted an ongoing revenue stream—at the ratepayer’s expense—and without a big-picture goal. This was not a board bent on cleaning the air.

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GOP Talk
In case you didn’t hear, Mitt Romney is not running for president, but he does want to be a leader. He seems to like that role—and to that end, sponsored his third-annual Republican retreat at Deer Valley Resort. The GOP is in search of a frontrunner, and Romney’s here to help—by giving them a forum, if not funding, for the 2016 run at the presidency. “The remnants of Mr. Romney’s campaign apparatus are a trove of money and power for any contender capable of seizing them,” a New York Times article said. There was, of course, talk of détente, but that’s not something the GOP Congress is willing to embrace. Mia Love was there as a symbol of diversity, and there was even talk of same-sex marriage. And former Gov. Mike Huckabee talked about compromise. Good luck with that.

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Lake Celebration
Well, it’s about time someone noticed that the Great Salt Lake is not just a smelly, fly-ridden body of water. It is one of the great wonders of the world, “America’s Dead Sea,” and a buffer to the beautiful buffalo herds of Antelope Island. A new visitors center at Great Salt Lake State Park recently opened, with displays that tell the story of the lake’s history. Because Kennecott contributed, the center will have signage about the copper mine. But the best thing about this is the recognition that the lake is a vital part of Utah history and industry—from the heyday of concerts at Saltair to the earthen art of Robert Smithson and more. 

Twitter: @KathyBiele

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