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

Coal Country 

Also: Up With Pups, Majority Report

Pin It
Favorite
miss_1.jpg

Coal Country
If it weren't the sage grouse, it could be that cute black-footed ferret, the Utah prairie dog or the gray wolf (oops, someone already shot one of those!). These and other animals are endangered in Utah, and it falls to the evil federal government to protect them from man's harm. The operative word here is "evil," and that is why the sage grouse has become a metaphor for federal intrusion. Utah would fight any plan to save the sage grouse because permeating the entire discussion are the extractive industries—coal in general, and the Alton Coal strip mine specifically. Alton, with a history of bad deeds, wants to expand operations. And Utah, most vocally Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, is all in favor of more mining.After all, there's money in them thar hills.

hit_1.jpg

Up With Pups
If you don't want to save the sage grouse, maybe puppies will pull your heartstrings. They certainly made a difference to the Salt Lake County Council. Early this month, the council voted unanimously to prohibit pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits from commercial breeding mills. The Humane Society of the United States says 2 million–4 million dogs bred in puppy mills are sold each year to uninformed consumers. Bad breeders are on the rise, partly due to the demand for designer dogs, Michigan State University's Animal Legal and Historical Center notes. Only 26 states so far have laws against puppy mills. The County Council is leading the way. "The lack of overarching federal law and lack of state law enforcement leads to the problem of puppy mills," the center says.

miss_1.jpg

Majority Report
You know what they say: "You can't avoid conflicts of interest in this state." The Salt Lake Tribune—again—detailed how legislators with obvious conflicts of interest continue to influence and vote on laws to which they have some personal ties. The most recent glaring example is Medicaid expansion. The prison move also had a lot of developers and others who stood to benefit. Not surprisingly, the Center for Public Integrity gave Utah an overall grade of D—with an F on Legislative accountability, which includes conflict of interest. A report is due out in November, and Utah may not show up much better, according to Joel Campbell, associate professor of communications at BYU. Why does this matter? "Conflicts of interest interfere with the basic ethical principle of fairness—treating everyone the same," a Santa Clara University report notes. And they undermine trust.

Pin It
Favorite

More by Katharine Biele

  • Citizen Revolt: Oct. 18

    Meet some of the women running for office, learn about everything else on the ballot come November and discuss available programming to help Salt Lake's homeless population.
    • Oct 17, 2018
  • The Three Kings

    Where are the critics of Utah's proposed billion-dollar railroad? Utah's place in the climate change debate and a Utah journalism project shines a light on the dark side of housing.
    • Oct 17, 2018
  • Citizen Revolt: Oct. 11

    Candidates get a chance to meet our youth, unpack those ballot initiatives and March for Our Lives gets creative.
    • Oct 10, 2018
  • More »

Latest in Hits & Misses

  • The Three Kings

    Where are the critics of Utah's proposed billion-dollar railroad? Utah's place in the climate change debate and a Utah journalism project shines a light on the dark side of housing.
    • Oct 17, 2018
  • Judge Wad-duped

    What ever happened to the public part of public lands? The Legislature whittles away on ballot initiatives and don't say "Mormon" anymore.
    • Oct 10, 2018
  • This Mormon Moment

    Jeff Flake earns some credit, more red tape for beer retailers and was there any celebrating in Utah for National Public Lands Day?
    • Oct 3, 2018
  • More »

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • High Anxiety

    A new study suggests link between altitude and high teen suicide rates, coal is still king in Utah, for now, and an unhappy former mayor.
    • Jul 4, 2018
  • Dear Jon

    A letter to Jon Huntsman Jr., more kids means fewer taxes in Utah and some perspective on the inland port debate.
    • Jul 25, 2018

© 2018 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation