Photo by Rene' Fleming
Jeff Pomeroy of Gardner Engineering adjusts the anemometer installed with a series of solar panels placed on the roof of the St. George Water and Power Building.

Unbelievably, Gov. Gary Herbert and Rep. Jim Matheson, Utah government officials elected to protect and care for citizens, want to fight the EPA and the federal government. Our legislators want to expand the leases available to oil and gas industries, thereby speeding up the development of tar sands and oil shale strip mining .

To mine this rock at this time is economically a disaster. It is also short sighted. What about our clean air, water and beautiful country? What about the health and welfare of our children and grandchildren? This strip mining only creates a mess — habitat destruction, green house gases 23-73 percent more than that created in conventional oil drilling, toxic carcinogenic water from combining limonene and tar and removal of water from the Colorado River.

These mining enterprises would destroy our communities. Utah is promising royalty rates less than half of that charged for conventional oil and gas drilling. Our communities will be picking up the tab for the environmental damage. The damage will be too severe. We will be left with a toxic wasteland.

I suggest our officials spend our tax revenues encouraging jobs in wind and solar, renewable energies that are presently poorly supported in Utah.

Deb Walter