Below are some of the significant bills that have been introduced. As always, we will update the 2022 legislative tracker in real time whenever things change.
You can look up your legislative district and contact information for your legislators here. Legislators respond best when we are respectful and appreciative, and when we are clear about what we are asking them to vote for or against. If you're emailing a legislator, include the bill number and title in the subject of the email, and include your address and contact information in your signature.
HJR003 - Joint Resolution Supporting Federal Carbon Fee and Dividend Program
We were disappointed to have this resolution held in committee (so far), but it's important to recognize how far we've come! Ray Ward did a great presentation supporting a national carbon fee and dividend program that would put a price on greenhouse gas emissions and then refund the proceeds to households as a monthly dividend. Nick Huey and Hannah Rogers testified in favor.
Legislators were much more willing to take a strong look at this policy than they have been in the past, and there was essentially no opposition to the statement that CO2 emissions cause climate change. The resolution was opposed by the state’s electric utilities, the Utah Mining Association, and the Utah Farm Bureau. The Committee voted 8-4 to hold the bill for further discussion, and it may return with weaker (but still good) language.
You can listen to the committee hearing here if you missed it.
HCR001 - Concurrent Resolution to Work Together to Address the Climate, Public Lands, and Carbon Sequestration
This resolution calls on the Biden administration to prioritize natural carbon sinks and carbon soil sequestration. It's not the resolution that climate advocates would have written, but it's nevertheless very significant that Senator Hinkins and Representative Stratton are sponsoring a resolution that acknowledges climate change and the role of greenhouse gases. The debate about the cause of climate change is essentially over, and this resolution has gotten even better with the first substitute language.
The resolution passed the House Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee unanimously and then passed on the House floor unanimously and it now heads to the Senate.
HB244 - Geological Carbon Sequestration Amendments
Rep. Handy's HB244 lays the groundwork for carbon sequestration projects in Utah by clarifying agency jurisdiction over sequestration facilities in the state, and it authorizes the Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining and the Board of Oil, Gas, and Mining to establish regulations. While this is again not as much action as we would like to see, it's nevertheless a positive step towards the position that eliminating emissions is important. The bill will be heard in the House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee on Monday 2/14 at 8:00am.
SB187 - Fossil Fuels Tax Amendments
Senator Kitchen's SB187 reduces carbon dioxide emissions through a state carbon tax, with approximately one-third of the revenue directed to improving local air quality and promoting rural economic development, and two-thirds of the revenue directed to reducing existing taxes, including the elimination of the state sales tax on grocery store food. This is similar to bills that Representative Briscoe has run in the past, and to the Clean the Darn Air ballot initiative. It's not likely to advance, but proposing it and working to get support for it are important steps. It has not yet been assigned to a committee.
HB312 - State Financial Contracts Amendments- oppose
This bill would prohibits Utah public entities from entering into financial contracts with any financial company that has a policy of refusing to finance fossil fuel companies. It is anti free market, and sends an unwelcome message to high-tech and clean energy business that might want to locate in Utah, along with having a negative effect on Utah's Olympic bid. It is just an attempt to have the state put a thumb on the scale in favor of incumbent industries. This is a cookie-cutter bill that has been introduced in half a dozen states this year. It has been assigned to the House Government Operations Committee and does not yet have a hearing date.