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Western Editorial Sampler: Environments, outdoors and in power ...

Published January 9, 2013 1:16 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

— EnergySolutions: New owners need oversight — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

EnergySolutions, manager of the most controversial square mile in modern Utah, has changed hands again. For $1.1 billion.

But, unlike most of the mergers and acquisitions that take place on Wall Street every day, this transaction matters a great deal to a great many people who do not own stock in, or work for, the nuclear waste disposal business.

State officials, from the governor to the Legislature to the Division of Radiation Control, must guard against any letdown of their regulatory oversight duties. ...

— Conflict and secrecy: Bills could boost trust in legislators — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

Two relative newcomers to the Utah Legislature are bringing some much-needed perspective on two long-standing legislative practices that should be abolished in the interest of transparency and public trust.

Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, wants to require legislators to write bills before the legislative session begins, ending the practice of creating what is known as a "boxcar" early in the session. A boxcar is a dummy bill that can be filled in later — often near the end of the session — with any content the sponsors want. Neither the public nor all members of the House and Senate are privy to what the bill file might eventually contain. ...

— Refinery expansion: Legislators should reorder priorities — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

The Holly refinery, which already spews tons of noxious chemicals into the air over the Salt Lake Valley, wants to more than double its output — not of pollution but of fuel. Still, in doing so, it would pump an additional 220 tons of carbon monoxide and 196 tons of greenhouse gases into the air Utahns breathe. ...

— No escaping the air — Provo Daily Herald Editorial

... What are we supposed to do, hold our breath until the next storm?

— A bill against smoking in the car unlikely to result in fewer incidents — Deseret News Editorial

... Again, the question is raised as to whether it's in the proper purview of state government to legislate against something that anyone with common sense knows is a bad practice, and in this example, a case of appallingly bad parenting. ...

— Right direction on Colorado drilling regulations — Denver Post Editorial

State oil and gas regulators passed new groundwater testing rules Monday that we think should reassure Coloradans that contamination of drinking water in this era of hydraulic fracturing would be discovered and dealt with. ...

— A drilling dilemma on fracking — San Francisco Chronical Editorial

By federal estimate, California may be sitting atop one of the nation's largest oil deposits, buried in rock formations beneath the Central Valley and elsewhere. But tapping this pool will take a largely unregulated and potentially dangerous technique known as fracking that injects chemicals, water and sand to release the oil. ...

— Lawmakers need to clarify discipline records — Des Moines Register Editorial

Imagine a world in which government employees made the rules for whether the public is able to know about "stupid things" they do on the government's time and dime. ...