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Alton's 'bad faith'

Published March 6, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

So, Alton Coal Development is not satisfied with the current standard that requires proof that adversaries in legal challenges acted "in bad faith" to recover legal costs. It wants to recover legal costs whenever a citizens group challenges them and loses ("Alton Coal pursuit of legal fees may have far-reaching effect," Tribune, Feb. 27).

This is a perfectly coherent tactic. Alton understands how business is conducted in Utah. It has, no doubt, spent good money to gain access to the governor, local politicians, regulators and legislators.

The only thing in the way of future expansions of strip mining operations are the citizens and the groups that represent us. Oh, and the uncertainty of the courts.

If Gov. Gary Herbert were to bypass the "bad faith" requirement, the balance would be tipped in favor of development even more than now. Whether or not you care about strip mines on land near national parks, this decision could limit public legal recourse on some future issue that might be of concern to you.

Write or call Herbert today, and let him know that the current "bad faith" standard should remain in place.

Ed Fisher