In response to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune announcing that Utah State Engineer Kent Jones OK’d the use of Green River water to cool a proposed nuclear reactor, Ed Firmage Jr. posted a polished reply. Water management in Utah is an area much in need of watch dogging. Mike Noel makes a living by exercising a powerful conflict of interest in the government positions he holds. It’s how welfare ranching works and just like Bernard DeVoto called it 65 years ago: “Give me the money, now get out of here.” Berate the federal government while taking finagled federal hand outs. Not much has changed. Noel has a seat on the Utah State Legislature and is the executive director of the Kane County Water Conservancy District, both government jobs. Now he is concocting a boondoggle to sell Kane County water rights to a nuclear reactor which he will use his position as state legislator to support. Here’s Ed’s response:
Let me see if I got this right:
A former two-bit Viagra salesman, Aaron Tilton, who was GIVEN (not elected) to a term in the state senate and who promptly lost his first attempt to be ELECTED to office (even Utah voters have standards), teams up with former legislative buddy, welfare rancher, and general good old boy Mike Noel, who makes his living railing against federal subsidies (except his own), and they concoct a plan for a federally subsidized nuclear reactor (all nuclear reactors are federally subsidized) in the middle of the howling Utah desert with water from an oversubscribed and climate-threatened river–in other words, using water for speculative gain, a practice prohibited by Utah law–and this Rube Goldberg scheme is OKd by the only representative of the Utah public who will have a say in this decision, Utah’s water “engineer,” Kent Jones, who opines, in either ignorance or denial of Wall St., that building a nuclear power plant, and that in a desert, isn’t a speculative venture and a therefore illegal use of Utah water.
I guess I must be in Utah, for by comparison, the story of the golden plates sounds perfectly plausible.
Ed’s last sentence is regrettably uncivil, but his calling the crony good old boys on their crap is a civil service. Go Ed.