Salt Lake City – Following the news that state officials submitted a licensing application for the Lake Powell Pipeline, the Alliance for a Better Utah criticized state leaders for the manner in which they have moved forward with this highly controversial project.
“Throughout this past session, Senator Adams, along with several other legislators pushing water project funding, continued to tell us they had no idea when or if the Lake Powell pipeline would be constructed,” said Rachel Sanders, Better Utah’s Executive Director. “Now, only two months after the session, they’ve begun setting aside funding for the pipeline, and the state has commenced the approval process for this project–a project only a small percentage of Utahns support. This kind of behavior from our leaders gives the impression of intentional exclusion of the public’s voice on this controversial issue.”
Earlier this week, state officials submitted a licensing application for the Lake Powell Pipeline with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This application begins the Commission’s review process and a federal study on the environmental impact of the pipeline.
During the 2016 Legislative Session, lawmakers approved — and the governor signed — SB80, which created a fund for water infrastructure and then began filling it with a sales tax that brings in more than $30 million a year. Many groups were opposed to this legislation, claiming it would be used for high-cost water projects, such as the Lake Powell Pipeline and the Bear River Projects. However, these fears were rejected as hypothetical at the time, and sponsors of the legislation attempted to limit discussion on those projects.