(EnviroNews Utah) — Salt Lake City — It appears that the input from residents and expert opinion from the community is no longer welcome in the State of Utah. That was the message sent by Senate Bill 21 from the 2012 legislative session which dismantles and eliminates citizen-based environmental review boards from the political process.
At the Rally to Restore Sanity to Government held at the state capitol on the second to last day of the 2012 legislative session, Matt Pacenza, Policy Director at HEAL Utah blasted the Herbert Administration in front of an enraged crowd over what he called “a dangerous energy policy.”
Pacenza went on to describe how the Utah legislature has now seen fit for a powerful group of attorneys representing giants such as Chevron, Rio Tinto, Energy Solutions, and more, to craft their own environmental laws on behalf of all citizens in Utah, without public discourse.
According to Pacenza, citizen environmental advisory boards “were being sent to reform school” because they stood up to Energy Solutions and nearly voted down the conspiracy-laden Kennecott Utah Copper mine expansion.
For an individual who understands the constitutionalities of the political process, it can be seen clearly how this bill takes a wrecking ball to the right for public discourse within the legislative process, and disembowels a balanced and educated panel of citizen and industry voices, effectively turning it over to the source-polluter corporatocracy.