Salt Lake City Blogs:News Blog-Concerns of Climate, Fires and Al Qaeda Burn Up Bill Hearing
House Bill 77, if it had passed would have written into Utah law the phrase “climate change” for the first time in state history. While the bill drew out plenty of public support it also drew plenty of skepticism from the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee, which ultimately killed the bill.
Powell’s bill would have recognized climate change as a man-made phenomenon
But the ultimate factor defeating the bill was likely from the testimony of Dick Buehler, the Director of the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. While Powell had heard people in Buehler’s agency express concern that they couldn’t study climate change-related mitigation plans without legislative approval, Buehler disagreed. Not only did he say that they already had that authority but that the bill would not enhance his division’s ability to do future planning on preventing wildfires in the state whether the Legislature decided climate-change was a factor or not. With that the bill was soon shot down by an 11-4 vote.