Smoke Screens, Rules Are Rules, Clubbed | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Smoke Screens, Rules Are Rules, Clubbed 

Pin It
Favorite
sad.jpg
Smoke Screens

Apparently, the $1 per pack increase in the tobacco tax, passed this year, was not intended to be a revenue generator. Instead, sponsoring Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, tells the Associated Press that it really was intended to help curb smoking. The problem? Christensen found minimal legislative support when he lauded the public-health benefit. Late in this year’s session, he switched his tune, touting that the tax could bring in $43 million in new revenue, helping to balance the $1 billion budget deficit and, kazzam—-the tax was passed. Unless all of the tax revenue goes to fund smoking-cessation and tobacco-prevention programs. Christensen’s claim appears to be more smoke blowing out of his filter.

smiley.jpg
Rules Are Rules
Energy companies will no longer be able to use a loophole in federal law to drill gas and oil wells in sensitive areas, thanks to a settlement between the Bureau of Land Management and environmental groups. The settlement stemmed from a lawsuit filed after the BLM approved 30 natural gas wells near Nine Mile Canyon, home to extensive American Indian rock art. By using the loophole, which has actually been used to approve hundreds of wells in Utah alone, an Environmental Impact Statement was not required. Not surprisingly, energy companies are crying foul, claiming that it’s too expensive to give a flying hoot about plants, animals and cultural history.

sad.jpg
Clubbed
The candidate spending the most money in this year’s U.S. Senate race is not actually a candidate, but Club For Growth, based in Washington, D.C. According to the Deseret News, the club spent $120,000 leading up to the March 23 caucus meetings, primarily focused on getting new delegates elected who oppose Sen. Bob Bennett. They seemed to have had success, since many first-time delegates got elected and Bennett supporters were roundly booed at many caucuses. They also proved in the process how well the caucus system rewards homegrown activism and limits the influence of well-heeled national groups.

Josh Loftin:


Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of...

About The Author

Josh Loftin

Bio:
Josh Loftin: Twitter | Facebook | News Blog

More by Josh Loftin

Latest in Hits & Misses

  • Libertarian Utah

    Utahns make it known how they feel about taxes, the good and bad from San Juan County, and another setback for the Cottonwood Mall site.
    • Nov 14, 2018
  • Too Little, Too Much

    The state revisits its sex-ed guidelines, the benefits of having two daily newspapers and a former mayor takes up a new fight.
    • Nov 7, 2018
  • High Times

    A Utah senator tried marijuana, but what was the message? A win for Utahns' health and an unfortunate consequence of Medicare.
    • Oct 31, 2018
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

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
  • Unfair Fire, FYI and Take the Toll

    If you Google "the right way to fire someone," chances are the University of Utah won't pop up.
    • Apr 26, 2017

© 2018 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation