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  • Writer's pictureTom Moyer

Final week!

It's the last week of the session. The appropriations bill will be the top priority for the week. The last committee hearings will be on Tuesday, and the session ends on Friday. Many bills will speed through the process this week and some will not make it through in time. You can see the current status of all the bills we are following on our legislative tracker. You can look up your district and contact information for your representative here.


Trade resolution success!


The big news of the week was the passage of Tyler Clancy's HR005 - House Resolution Regarding the Trade Policies of the United States. Our biggest contribution was to keep quiet about it, but Rep. Clancy and our friends from Young Conservatives for Carbon Dividends did a great job. You can watch their committee testimonies here. The resolution passed unanimously on the House floor, 71-0. As a House resolution, it does not go to the Senate for a vote or to the Governor for his signature. The resolution does nothing on its own, but it's extremely helpful in building support for the idea that there is a value to reducing greenhouse emissions.


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Representatives of the state of Utah urges the United States Congress to support trade policies that hold high polluting countries like China and Russia accountable for pollution and bolster domestic extraction and production.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the House of Representatives promotes American economic development and the rebuilding of United States supply chains, particularly in rural communities, including by enacting policies that reward American businesses and workers for their superior environmental performance.


Great Salt Lake progress


Most of the Great Salt Lake bills have passed with strong bipartisan support and have moved through without delay. Rep. Owens' HB011 - Water Efficient Landscaping Requirements had been an exception. It passed both the House and Senate and was then held up from a final vote by Senate leadership and looked for a while as though it was going to be killed. After negotiations, it was amended to ban only above-ground spray irrigation rather than banning all turf at government buildings, and it passed overwhelmingly. That's not much of a weakening and it's still a very good water conservation bill.


The amount of water at stake here isn't very large, but it's an important symbol. It's hard to ask others to cut back on consumptive water use if you aren't willing to do it yourself. Having state government lead the way is important for being able to take the bigger steps.


Net metering


We did an action alert to support Senator Harper's SB189 - Net Metering Energy Amendments. It passed the Senate Transportation, Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee 4-2 and was then held up from coming to a vote on the Senate floor. This bill was negotiated and amended to weaken the language. The new version now only limits Rocky Mountain Power from decreasing the credit rate paid for a customer's exported power for a period of 20 years. The previous version would have raised the credit rate to be at least 84% of an average utility customer's average monthly costs.


The amended version has not been voted on yet, so it is still worthwhile to call Senators to ask them to support the bill. You can see the talking points from the action alert here.


San Rafael State Energy Lab


Part of our climate work has been to support energy communities through the ongoing energy transition, and we've built good relationships in Carbon and Emery Counties. Rep Watkins' HB410 would create a permanent funding source for the San Rafael State Energy Lab with a $2 million one-time appropriation and a $1 million a year ongoing appropriation. That lab puts valuable energy industry skills to good use, and helps that community grow and diversify an economy that won't be as dependent on the coal industry in the future. The bill has passed the House and the Senate Education Committee unanimously and now heads to the Senate floor.


CCL Mountain West Regional Conference


We are hosting CCL members and climate advocates from the entire Mountain West region at Weber State on April 6th and 7th. We are putting together a great agenda and we have Congressman Curtis, chair of the Conservative Climate Caucus, as the keynote speaker. The evening of Friday April 5th will feature energy tours of the Weber State campus to see all the great work they are doing to upgrade and electrify their buildings. Come join us at the conference! For people on this list who are not CCL members - please help us pass the word to your organizations! Registration is here.



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