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State officials see federal control as blocking source of revenue, education funding

Published: Sunday, Jan. 12 2014 4:06 p.m. MST

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RichardB
Murray, UT

Utah's education system will always be underfunded. It's not a priority of our legislature.

Shaun
Sandy, UT

It is comical that state leaders and the legislature use education as the reason to have access to these lands. How many times has a republican in this state said that throwing more money at education doesn't necessarily provide a better result.

Also the oil in North Dakota is actual oil in a liquid form that just has to be pumped to the surface with minimal damage to the environment . Our vast energy is locked up in oil shale which has to be mined. This would be like having Kennecott open style mines every where in this state.

samhill
Salt Lake City, UT

"...critics of the movement assert that the vast Utah landscapes controlled by a D.C. landlord are the reason Utah enjoys a $6 billion outdoor recreation economy. Giving state or local government control of that acreage would leave it pillaged, plunging the state's most prized and pristine areas into an abyss of environmental abuses."
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Yes, as we've recently seen regarding the "proper" interpretation of marriage and the decree by a Federal Judge that Utah's citizens, as declared in their constitution, don't have it right, we see here that our Federal overlords also know the "proper" usage of the land Utah.

I suppose, if nothing else, it gives us a little more empathy for the Indian populations that once lived and dominated the land here in Utah, and the rest of America for that matter.

Nevertheless, more empathy with the Indians or not, as a tax-paying citizen of Utah it doesn't make me feel any better to have a Federal boot on my neck.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

Utah could do more right now. Out of the Rocky Mountain states, Utah has some of the smallest severance taxes on mineral extraction. Utah is practically giving money away to the fossil fuel industry. I'm not sure what more energy extraction will do for Utah because they will just give that away too. For instance, Texas has a severance tax of 7.5% on its oil extraction while Utah has 3% tax on the value up to $13 per barrel, then it rises to 5%. North Dakota charges a flat 6.5% on all oil extraction.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

Plus, let's just say North Dakota is North Dakota...

endoftimes
Vernal, UT

@Shaun

Take a look at Alberta, Canada's tar sands method of producing this oil. The newest technology uses drilled holes horizontally under ground into the formation. The sands are heated by steam and other methods, then pumped to the surface. There is no open pit mining involved.

As far as damaging the environmental damage, conventional oil production locations are 2 to 5 acres for up to 10 wells, thanks to new technologies in horizontal drilling. The footprint of these locations are minimal. Flying across the nation, the most notable environmental eyesores are those ridiculous windmills, visible from 35000 feet and by the way very inefficient in producing electricity.

endoftimes
Vernal, UT

Earlier this year the Uinta Basin held an oil and gas symposium in Vernal. The presentations varied from tar sands to air quality to transportation issues. Governor Herbert spoke to the audience of about 500 regarding the future of the oil and gas industry in the Uinta Basin. He spoke on that subject for about 2 minutes, while the remainder of his 20 minute speech was directed to the many executives of various oil and gas companies to relocate their head quarters to Salt Lake City. That would be great for the Wasatch front, however the real nightmarish problem is transportation. Anyone who travels from SLC to Vernal find hundreds of oil tankers per day going both directions on mostly two lane highways. UDOT is conducting studies to improve the highway system, but as we know such studies take years to complete, not to mention the construction design and implementation. I agree that the Basin has largely been ignored, but the income to the State is enormous from oil and gas royalties.

Had the Governor drove to Vernal on highway 40 rather than fly the state plane, he would have witnessed firsthand how large this issue is.

Epinephrine
Grand Forks, ND

Being a North Dakotan resident, it is amazing the wealth, jobs, and services oil has brought to the people living here. Also, I do believe the oil boom has brought more to education to North Dakota as well. For instance, this past legislature just approved a brand new medical school that costs $124 million. Millions are being poured into buildings that are being built and redone in colleges around the state.

Along with this oil extraction comes investments in renewable energy as well. For instance, regulators just approved a 200 MW wind farm. This wind power allows North Dakota to power 15% of the state.

Hopefully, Utah will be able to harness some of this oil. There are many benefits I am personally enjoying by moving to North Dakota. But not the cold!

RRB
SLC, UT

North Dakota's boom comes at a great price (see Casselton, North Dakota). The Department of transportation has already sent out advisories on oil that has been recovered by fracking, and it's potential explosive nature. San Francisco is already fighting the plan to move the oil there in mile long trains (that will go through Northern Utah). Like all boom eras it will end, leaving a mess in it's wake.

One of Utah's main attractions for business is it's recreation and open spaces. We will lose that if the state takes control and sells off the land. (and you know they will) Then selling Utah, land of the nuclear waste dump, will be impossibile.

dustmagnet
heber city, UT

There are other ways to increase funding to education - it just takes a commitment in order to do it rather than an excuse to not do it!
Just as there are ways to decrease the air and water pollution in this State - sadly no one seems to want to do anything "Substantive" to accomplish this.
Some States, for example, use lottery proceeds to help fund education. Voluntary fund revenue.
There seems to be an attitude prevailing in this State of "talk", "laws", and not doing anything to truly improve quality of life by "enacting and enforcing". Thus you have the plundering and profiteering occurring here.

Increase the permit fees for polluting companies and channel that excess into education, is one possibility. Discourage pollution and encourage education.

snowyphile
Jemez Springs, NM

'Last-frontier' rhetoric. But Utah takes advantage of the ACA, thank goodness.

dustmagnet
heber city, UT

Why should the Feds trust the State to manage these resources. Look at how the State manages it's water and air!

hnoel
Layton, UT

North Dakota is not exactly a tourism "Mecca."....Utah is. Irresponsible energy development will cripple, if not destroy our tourism industry -- the largest in the state. It will also cripple if not destroy our own living conditions and enjoyment of the great outdoor offerings in the state. We currently have energy development in Utah, and it would be irresponsible to not take advantage of our natural resources ---RESPONSIBLY. Right now, developers must "fight" and make the case for their developments. This is as it should be. Putting all of our land into the hands of our legislature will, of course make it easier for developers, but will give us unbounded development. By any measurement, there will always be a limit to the amount of energy that can be mined, fracked, drilled, etc. Our tourism will last forever -- if we don't destroy it. Simply put, Many of us don't trust our legislature to be responsible when it comes development. They have proven time and time again that development is the most important activity on their agenda.

Owen
Heber City, UT

Shale gas vs. shale oil: apples and oranges. The tech does not exist or it would be used all over the world. Check out Canadian efforts and their impact.

North Dakota's plains vs. Utah's desert: apples and dodo birds. No offense, but once Utah's desert is industrialized, there are no replacements. Check out aerial photos of the Bakken field for a hint at what it takes.

NeilT
Clearfield, UT

The energy boom in ND has brought an influx of new residents with it's resulting increases in crime and lack of housing. I have a nephew working in ND. He is driving 100 miles one way to work. Remember the energy boom of the seventies. Rock Springs Wyoming was the wild wild west. Crime was rampant. The oil industry can attract a very rough and transient crowd. Be careful what you wish for.

grj
Bountiful, ut

@ Kings Court

North Dakota is not a "Rocky Mountain" State, nor is Texas. The article clearly stated explorationists take their investment dollars elsewhere from Utah because it takes so long for a permit to be approved on Federal lands here. Raising taxes usually sounds like a good idea until you look behind the numbers, and in this case such a move would further serve to keep oil and gas investment money out of Utah.

endoftimes
Vernal, UT

@shaun

Take a look at Alberta, Canada's tar sands method of producing this oil. The newest technology uses drilled holes horizontally under ground into the formation. The sands are heated by steam and other methods, then pumped to the surface. There is no open pit mining involved.

As far as damaging the environmental damage, conventional oil production locations are 2 to 5 acres for up to 10 well, thanks to new technologies in horizontal drilling. The footprint of these locations are minimal. Flying across the nation, the most notable environmental eyesores are those ridiculous windmills, visible from 35000 feet and by the way very inefficient in producing electricity.

justamacguy
Manti, UT

I can't believe that there are people that say the education system will suffer if the state makes more money? Your sure not going to get you money at the current status of the states income. The education system will alway use our children to cry for more money. If Utah could use it's mineral resources, at least your education system could be underfunds at a much higher dollar amount.

FT
salt lake city, UT

As someone who does business in North Dakota I suggest people familarize themeselves with the other issues that oil development brought them. Violent crime, drugs, prostitution, poor development, increased pollution and enironmental issues. Many North Dakotans will tell you life was so much better before the boom. As Aladdin told Jafar, "you wanted it, and everything that goes along with".

Shaun
Sandy, UT

@endoftimes. I personally do not think windmills are an eyesore and are a great auxiliary energy source for the gird. As far as the horizontal method you talked about does some better than open pit mining but i do not think the first tar sands mine in utah is doing that.

My real problem is the way the state would handle the energy extraction. It wouldn't go to education because at the end of the day the republicans in this state hate public education. A portion of the extraction revenues wouldn't go to the citizens, where it rightly belongs. So the only option left is total exploitation by the energy companies and the state at the expense of the citizens of this state.

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