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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Editorials: Utah good, bad and worse ...

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Good:

- GRAMA referee: The right person for the job - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Every contest needs a referee. And one of the most important qualities for someone to be a good referee is that the person know the rules of the game.

So there is reason to hope that the new umpire appointed to oversee the maintenance of, and public access to, official documents in the state of Utah, State Archives official Rosemary Cundiff, is just the right person to hold the new post of government records ombudsman. ...

Bad:

- Loss for Utah: State should protect farmland - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

If the owners of the grazing land used by Morgan Valley Lamb were to sell their 10,000 mountain acres in Morgan County to developers, Utah would lose not only one of its dwindling agricultural operations but some of the last scenic, pristine lands close to the bustling Wasatch Front.

The Utah Legislature has a mechanism in place in the LeRay McAllister Fund to save such places, but it has failed to put money into the fund in order to collect matching federal conservation money. That is a mistake that should be corrected. ...

Worse. Really worse:

- Energy advising: Stewart appointment is disturbing - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

If Gov. Gary Herbert had chosen a card-toting member of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance as his top energy adviser, there would have been an outcry from the energy industry and his conservative colleagues. So why choose someone at the other end of the environment/energy debate and invite criticism from conservationists?

Sadly, the answer to that is easy: The power in Utah is concentrated in development-friendly Republicans, including Herbert. And they don’t care who knows it.

Herbert has named Cody Stewart his energy adviser. Stewart’s supporters, who share Herbert’s pro-development philosophy, say Stewart is knowledgeable and a "consensus builder."

But so far we can only judge Stewart’s probable approach to energy development in Utah by his record, and that shows a breathtaking bias toward more widespread drilling and mining, with little apparent regard for the environment. ...



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