The House killed a bill Tuesday that would have set up a special water conservation program within the state and allocated $500,000 toward its goals of conserving water.
HB137 went down after Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, complained that several groups lobbying for the bill were out to harm water development in Utah not really to aid water conservation. Noel, who routinely warns against groups like SUWA and the Sierra Club, said that water conservation can be used to argue against water development.
Noel runs a southern Utah water disdtrict. He said Rep. Larry Wiley, D-Salt Lake, was "disengenous" in bringing his bill forward.
At which House Minority Leader Brad King, D-Price, called for a point of order and said Noel was out of line. Unfortunately for Wiley and King, House Speaker Greg Curtis, R-Sandy, was on the telephone and said he couldn't rule on whether Noel's comments were not germaine to the debate, because he didn't hear them.
Noel went on to complain further about backers of HB137, and it failed 31 for, 40 against, with most Republicans voting against the bill.