This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
I wrote recently about Rep. Mike Noel's treatment of an environmental attorney when she appeared before the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee that he chairs.
The Kanab Republican repeatedly asked how many times she had sued the state and would not accept her answers that she was not involved in lawsuits over the Alton Coal project in southern Utah, basically calling her a liar.
He said he just wanted to know why she hated his kids and grandkids so much that she tried to prevent them from getting jobs.
Questioning the attorney's honesty is interesting since Noel passed out a flier on the House floor this week in support of his bill to ease regulations on outdoor wood boilers that contained blatant falsehoods.
Once the misinformation was known among key legislators in the Senate, Noel's HB394 was squelched on the last day of the session.
The flier claimed that outdoor wood boilers "are completely legal in 49 other states."
Outdoor wood boilers are completely banned in Oregon and Washington, and in numerous other states they are banned in certain counties or areas vulnerable to inversions. Utah has similar regulations, banning the wood boilers in the Salt Lake and Cache valley basins when pollution exceeds EPA standards.
Noel's bill would have required the Division of Air Quality to regulate outdoor burners the same as indoor wood-burning stoves, and the flier claimed the outdoor boilers are more efficient than indoor stoves.
But John Ackerly, of Alliance for Green Heat, says that claim is not true and the pollution from outdoor boilers is dangerous in basin areas susceptible to inversions. The bill is being pushed by a large manufacturer, Central Boiler, which Ackerly claims "is making the whole industry look bad by misrepresenting facts."
So here is my question to Noel: Why do you hate my kids and grandkids so much that you want to make them breathe unregulated dirty air that will make them sick?
Legislature's fantasy land • When the Senate passed the bill Wednesday that allows people to carry concealed firearms without a permit, Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, aka Quick Draw McGraw, sent this email to all members of the House:
"Permitless Concealed Carry passed the Senate today with a super majority vote. It is on its way to the governor. I dare him to veto it. If he vetoes it, he would be slapping the face of mainstream Utah.
"As for Colorado's gun control measures, everyone needs to understand the money is coming from the communist New York Mayor Bloomberg. He has already implemented sweeping gun control in New York. Colorado is being run by New York."
Actually, Bloomberg is one of the wealthiest capitalists in the country.
As for Oda's claim a Herbert veto would go against "mainstream Utah," a recent Brigham Young University study found that eight out of 10 Utahns favor reasonable gun regulations, such as background checks that are currently in place for concealed weapon permits.
So 80 percent of Utahns favor background checks for concealed weapon permits and 70 percent of the Legislature favors no check on concealed weapon holders.
Who is out of step with mainstream Utah?
Another college ne'er-do-well • A Westminster College student received a dire warning from the institution this month. She is in arrears on her tuition and if she doesn't pay the balance by March 18, there could be serious consequences.
Her overdue debt to the school: 15 cents.
And if she doesn't pay up, Westminster will not release her transcripts or records requested from the Registrar's Office.
But there is good news. She can set up a payment plan, according to the letter from Student Account Coordinator Joni Koncar. To do so, she must sign a promissory note with Student Account Services.