The Little Jersey Turnpike
A fire erupted Oct. 21 at the Tesoro oil refinery in Woods Cross, and while nobody at the refinery was injured, this was the third fire in three months at a Tesoro-owned refinery in the United States. Now, federal officials are investigating the fire for similarities to a fire four years ago at a BP America plant in Texas that killed 15 workers. John Bresland, chairman of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, says, in a news release, that even after significant safety measures were put in place after the BP disaster, “there continues to be a disturbing number of fires, explosions, and releases at the nation’s refineries.” While no private corporation is happy about a federal probe of its operations, one this close to light rail, multiple interstates, and the cities in south Davis County had best be prepared to suck it up.
Faster may not always be better, but along a 25-mile rural stretch of Interstate 15 between Scipio and Fillmore, an 80-mph speed limit is making drivers happy, not less safe. In 2008, the speed limit was increased on the freeway stretch where most driv- AM ers were already topping 80 mph. While drivers have not slowed down, most of them are staying under 85 mph. The Utah Department of Transportation says the speed bump actually made the stretch safer because almost everyone is moving at the same speed. And as anyone who has driven that stretch of road can attest, a faster legal speed is not a bad thing.
Fouling the Water
A lot of criticism can be leveled at Nevada for its water grab in Utah’s Snake Valley, and a draft agreement with some concessions to Utah still has many problems. However, the Utah Democrats have launched an attack on the state’s Republican leaders for the deal, essentially ignoring the past five years of work by people like Gov. Gary Herbert on behalf of the ranchers in the remote Western valley. If the Democrats really want to blame somebody, they should look to one of their own: Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, who has used his congressional power to push forward the pipeline to Las Vegas. Locals and activists even refer to this pipeline as the “Harry Reid Legacy Pipeline.” It may seem odd to give Utah Republicans credit for protecting the environment instead of the Sierra Club-endorsed Reid, but in this case, it’s appropriate.