Rep. Michael Noel, R-Kanab, didn't have high praise Wednesday for environmental groups he said are blocking development of mineral, oil and gas development in Utah.

Noel told the Public Utilities and Technology Interim Committee, which he co-chairs, that separate lawsuits are aimed at preventing the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management from allowing for test drilling for uranium in the so-called Arizona strip near the Utah border and for oil and gas development with what's known as the "Enduring Resources' Rock House" project.

Noel sought support of fellow committee members in signing their names to two letters of support for federal agencies' decisions to allow development to continue each matter, which so far only carry the names of Noel and committee co-chair Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City. The only two lawmakers in opposition to putting their names on the letters, however, were Reps. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Central Salt Lake, and Lynn Hemingway, D-Holladay.