In trouble again • Chevron Pipe Line Co. not only has caused Utahns a lot of grief the past few years, but the company has eroded the state's level of trust in the company and federal oversight to a very low point, indeed. The company spilled 27,000 gallons of diesel fuel at Willard Bay near the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in mid-March, after two spills in 2010 released more than 54,000 gallons of crude oil near Red Butte Garden. On Monday, the repaired 60-year-old pipeline carrying petroleum from Salt Lake refineries to Idaho and Spokane failed a stress test ordered by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. After the company cleaned out the pipe, filled it with water and raised the water pressure to the maximum, the pipe failed in six minutes. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility is suing PHMSA for failing to properly inspect the nation's network of pipelines, leading to several major spills nationwide.
In a good place • Kiplinger.com rates Salt Lake City as the best city in the nation for new college graduates to live and find jobs. Utah's comparatively low unemployment rate, compared with the national rate, and the Beehive State's relatively low cost of living were the two primary criteria for the ranking. The Kiplinger personal finance magazine website also considered the youthful social scene, low-cost recreational opportunities and the average age of the population, which is the lowest in the country. That's good news for younger Utahns. Now if state leaders could just come up with a plan and the resources to help the nearly 25 percent of youths who don't even graduate from high school, that would be even better news. Also, Utah ranks well below the national average in the percentage of women who earn college degrees. We'll take the good news, but we should also address the shortcomings in public and higher education.
In shoes of the poor • A group of Orem teenagers is discovering how hard it is to live on below-poverty-line rations. Sydney Pedersen and some of her classmates at Canyon View Junior High are among thousands in Utah and across the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand participating in the Live Below the Line campaign. The initiative, sponsored by the nonprofit Global Poverty Project, is an attempt to educate people in wealthy nations about the 1.4 billion people worldwide who live in extreme poverty. The teens must try to survive for five days on food costing no more than $7.50. At the same time Pedersen is leading a campaign to raise money for Happy Hearts Fund, a nonprofit that helps child victims of natural disasters. It's a worthy cause for the teens, and something more adults should try.