Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

October 30, 2012
Republicans responsible for hillside destruction

Our watershed and scenic mountains east of Tooele City have been permanently damaged and scarred by Rocky Mountain Power’s new transmission lines. I am deeply saddened every time I glance at these once-beautiful mountains. Both Tooele City and Tooele County valiantly battled this ill-advised plan to no avail. I blame the Republican-led Legislature that passed the Utility Facility Review Board Act for this carnage. The act gives a non-elected board the authority to overrule a local government’s decision to deny a proposed route even if there are very legitimate grounds. The board in this case ruled that concerns regarding health risks, contamination of watersheds and springs, damage to viewsheds and scars, effects upon wildlife, loss of property values and the disturbance of the smelter Superfund site were not relevant or controlling. It ruled that it only had authority under the law to determine whether or not a route was reliable, adequate and efficient. It is apparent that this law is heavily biased in favor of large utilities. I do not doubt that Rocky Mountain Power has made huge contributions to the legislators that passed this horrendous law. Local and national Republicans have a poor reputation in protecting our environment and this is a prime example of the attitude that profit trumps the legitimate concerns of local communities. I urge voters to glance to the east just before entering their voting locations and cast a ballot for the Democrats who are committed to protecting our environment.

James Elton


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