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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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Courtesy | Steve Liptay/Peaceful Uprising Climate Justice activists halt mining operations and road construction at the first US tar sands stripmine, located in Eastern Utah.
Pundits of the West: Land, air and fuel ...

Opinion writers in newspapers across the American West today hold forth on public lands, fossil fuels and clean (or not) air.

No end in sight in Utah wilderness battle — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

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" ... The separation between rhetoric and reality has been a hallmark of the half-century of wrangling over BLM wilderness lands in Utah. On one side are environmentalists raising money on both coasts by telling people the bulldozers and drill rigs are ready to start ripping through America’s treasures. On the other side are the industry-funded lobbyists and PR machines that insist the feds have locked up America’s prosperity. Both sides are overselling. ..."

AG’s Office Tells Eager Lawmakers Takeover of Public Lands a Tough Case to Win — Curtis Haring | Utah Political Capitol

Poll: Hispanics Support Protecting Public Lands — Bryan Schott | Utah Policy

GOP: Go to Moscow, Come Back to Reality — Twin Falls (Idaho) Times-News Editorial

[That’s Moscow, Idaho, where the Idaho Republican Convention is about to happen.]

" ... Put plainly, the ‘establishment vs. tea party’ spat is destroying Idaho. That’s the problem with a one-party state. If the dominant party goes off the rails, the entire thing falls down.

"Idaho’s GOP is too busy arguing about the important stuff, like mounting a losing defense of ‘traditional’ marriage or spending mountains of cash on a doomed-but-pandering bid to somehow ‘take back’ federal lands that Idaho never actually owned. ..."

Nevada being denied right to join energy boom — Anastasia Swearingen | For The Las Vegas Review-Journal

"A radical environmental group is trying to block Nevadans from accessing untapped energy potential on their own lands. The Center for Biological Diversity recently lodged a formal complaint against the Bureau of Land Management over an upcoming lease sale in Nevada that would unlock some of the state’s valuable energy resources. If history is any guide, the BLM will be happy to oblige. ..."

Promote alternative fuels while they’re young — Casper Star-Tribune Editorial

" ... Now lawmakers are again considering taxing fuels that hardly get any use yet, such as butane, hydrogen and electricity. We think doing so is premature. Since they’re just emerging, we think it’s too soon to rain down taxes on their use. ..."

A win-win solution for global warming — Cher Gilmore | For The Los Angeles Daily News

"One of the arguments most used to oppose addressing the urgent problem of global warming by cutting carbon emissions has been that any plan to move us away from fossil fuels would cause massive job losses and hurt the economy.

"Now, a new study by Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) lays that oft-repeated myth to rest. ...

Gov. Sam Brownback’s fairy tale about President Obama and the EPA — Kansas City Star Editorial

"Gov. Sam Brownback thinks he knows who’s to blame for rising electricity costs in Kansas. It’s the ‘excessive regulation of Obama’s EPA.’

"That’s what a new "reality check" on Brownback’s campaign website claimed this week. It attacked President Barack Obama and the federal Environmental Protection Agency, while linking them to Paul Davis, the governor’s likely Democratic opponent this fall.

"Those claims make for great fodder on the campaign trail.

"They also are not true. ..."



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