Oil lobbyist Jeff Hartley ("Utah lawmakers look to amass environmental war chest," Tribune, Nov. 19) only speaks for his own pocketbook. Allowing energy lobbyists to speak for citizens is leaving the fox to watch the sage grouse house.
Those who profit from mineral/gas extraction will misrepresent data in coming years as feds decide whether the highly imperiled greater sage grouse deserves Endangered Species Act protections. Of course it does. Poor stewardship continues to destroy the remaining iconic bird's habitat.
Our legislators are neither biologists nor sophisticated world travelers. They laugh at a bird that is found nowhere else on Earth, because they don't know and don't appreciate how special Utah wild lands and their inhabitants are globally nor do they understand extinction's permanent and far-reaching impacts.
Utah deserves more than boom-town, get-rich-quick schemes. We are hard-working people with a responsibility to leave a legacy for our children. In fact, that's the exact reason Congress passed the Endangered Species Act by near unanimous vote 40 years ago to balance economic development against preservation of the systems we depend on for our own health, as well as the health of our economy.
Salt Lake City