White House Christmas ornament to feature coal. Utah to BLM: You're harming oil and gas leasing. Romney returns to Utah.
Happy Wednesday. The White House last week announced sweeping environmental regulations that would, in effect, shrink the nation's reliance on coal-fueled power plants. This week, the White House Historical Association released a picture of the 2014 official White House Christmas ornament that features -- drum roll please -- coal. The ornament honors the nation's 29th president, Warren G. Harding, and includes a rail car full of coal. Not kidding. [WaTimes]
Topping the news: Utah officials say the Bureau of Land Management is unlawfully controlling the use of public lands in the state, which is harming oil and gas leases in the region. [Trib]
-> Mitt Romney will be in Utah on Thursday with several other Republican stars for an annual confab in Park City. [ParkRecord]
-> Sen. Daniel Thatcher wants to add more teeth to a state law that forbids lobbyists from lying to lawmakers. [UtahPolicy]
Tweet of the day: From @TeaPartyCat: "That awkward moment when the NRA is asked to comment on the latest mass shooting and needs to ask 'which one?' because there's so many."
Happy Birthday: To former state Rep. Merlynn Newbold, President of the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools Chris Bleak and the Republican staff director on the Senate Finance Committee Chris Campbell.
In other news: Utah Unites for Marriage, an advocacy group in support of same-sex marriage, began a petition against Attorney General Sean Reyes' planned appeal. [Trib]
-> Despite a letter written by members of the Salt Lake City Council, the Days of '47 Parade organizers said they will not allow the Mormons Building Bridges group to participate in the event. [Trib]
-> Check out Pat Bagley's cartoon depicting "the solution to government," which involves smoking barrels. [Trib]
-> Mia Love and Doug Owens are stepping up their game in the race for the 4th congressional district in Utah. Love said she'd like to join the Congressional Black Caucus if she wins and Owens purchased advertisements for television. [DNews] The Roll Call interview where Love talks about the CBC. [RollCall]
-> Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and County Council members said without Medicaid expansion, the county faces 12 percent cuts in January 2015 to prevention programs and vowed to write letters to legislators asking them to support Gov. Gary Herbert's plan for expansion. [Trib] [DNews]
-> The County Council also approved 17 members to serve on a new committee focused on the unincorporated regions within the county. [Trib]
-> McAdams also appointed Martin Jensen, who has worked for the county for seven years, as the director of the Parks and Recreation Department. [DNews]
-> Salt Lake City Council members discussed further golf course shutdowns in the city because of financial pressure. [Trib]
-> SLC Council members also approved the budget for the new fiscal year that includes fireworks, but no property tax increases. [Trib]
-> The BLM is proposing to outlaw rope swings on Corona Arch near Moab. [Trib]
-> The U.S. Census Bureau reports that as of 2012, 51.6 percent of foreign-born Utahns speak English "very well." [Trib]
-> Jordan School District formally drafted a resolution against South Jordan's proposal to split and create a new school district. [DNews]
-> After visting Utah, the IRS Commissioner decided to draft a new nationwide "Taxpayer Bill of Rights." [Trib]
-> The number of followers on the Utah Transit Authority's Twitter page is soaring, so UTA is treating them to a scavenger hunt for free fare. [Trib]
-> President Barack Obama spoke of his frustrations about that nation's ineffective gun laws after a school shooting in Oregon, saying, "We kill each other in these mass shootings at rates that are exponentially higher than any place else. Well, what's the difference? The difference is, is that these guys can stack up a bunch of ammunition in their houses." [NYTimes] [WaPost] [LATimes]
-> As she begins her book tour, Hillary Clinton said that she and Bill Clinton were "dead broke" when they left the White House, leaving many questioning her motives when she was referencing her two multi-million dollar homes. She has since tried to rephrase the mistake, saying "Let me just clarify that I fully appreciate how hard life is for so many Americans today." [WaPost] [Politico] [LATimes]
-> Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who was born in Canada in 1970, has officially renounced his Canadian citizenship. [WaPost]
Where are they?