Energy & Environment | KUER 90.1

Energy & Environment

Screenshot/The Carbon Tax Center

A trio of lawmakers from both parties proposed a bill that would have made Utah the first state in the nation to enact a carbon tax.

Austen Diamond / KUER

A bill encouraging that the creation of national monuments in Utah be decided by Congress, instead of the President, cleared the legislature on Thursday.


Many are calling it far-fetched, but a mountain west entrepreneur is reviving a proposal to draw water from Utah's Green River and funnel it to Colorado's growing and drought-prone Front Range. The pipeline would move billions of gallons of water across hundreds of miles from Utah through Wyoming and down into Colorado.


Wednesday, an Interior Department advisory panel will propose changing how the government receives royalties from coal dug up on federal lands. But some critics are calling foul as panel members either come from the energy industry or energy-producing states.


The vast majority of the nation’s oil and gas wells are located here in Mountain West. But a new report says once those wells run dry it could cost taxpayers billions of dollars to clean them up.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

Climate change may be a slow-moving threat, but a measure to recognize it shot through the Utah House Monday in flash, in minutes and without controversy.

Chelsea Naughton / KUER

A new report says climate change is hurting the ski industry, and a climate advocacy group says the Mountain West is particularly vulnerable.


Utah lawmakers seem ready to waive the fee for inspecting EnergySolutions radioactive landfill. A bill to do that — at the top of the list of legislation that Senators could vote on this week — would have taxpayers covering inspection fees for one of the state’s most generous campaign donors, EnergySolutions.

Courtesy: Elizabeth Hansen

High-school students have been pushing Utah lawmakers for climate action in Utah for more than a year. And, on Thursday, a legislative panel voted to advance a climate-change resolution they helped to draft.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Utah and Wyoming are getting tough on states that they argue are interfering with coal mining economies. Both states just introduced legislation that would make it easier to legally challenge California and Washington State for their policies on coal exports from the mountain west. 

Judy Fahys/KUER News

It sounded sometimes like Rep. Ray Ward, R-Bountiful, was teaching a Climate Change 101 workshop on Tuesday. He asked members of the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee to focus on a few trends.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Utah could be headed to battle against California over coal.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke attacked critics of the Trump administration’s decision to shrink two national monuments in Utah. He called them “angry people” and “nefarious.”

Judy Fahys/KUER News

Utah homeowners and industry have been looking for a way for years to make rooftop solar costs more predictable. Lawmakers are advancing legislation that provides stability that balances the impacts of a rapidly growing industry.


Utah lawmakers have been pushing agencies to rely more and more on user fees instead of taxes. They say it’s only fair. But a bill backed by a Salt Lake City radioactive waste company would reverse that policy, shifting the cost of companies’ user fees to taxpayers.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

Last year was the third hottest ever recorded in Utah, according to new data from the National Weather Service.

Erik Neumann / KUER

On this first Monday after the government shutdown was announced, Utah’s national parks and monuments remain open, but visitors will get slightly more of a wilderness experience than normal. 

wbeem/Flickr Creative Commons

A federal agency has pressed the “pause” button on the license for the Lake Powell Pipeline.

Judy Fahys/KUER

The state’s making progress on its proposal for the Lake Powell Pipeline. But now it’s asking to pause its federal license long enough to get an answer to a crucial question.

Rex Turgano/Flickr Creative Commons

Beginning this month Salt Lake City will stop accepting plastic bags for recycling. There are several reasons for the city’s “Bag-the-bag” campaign.

Howard Berkes, Kelsie Moore, Julia Ritchey / NPR / KUER

A year ago today, President Barack Obama created the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. The story's taken twists and turns all year. A few weeks ago, President Trump lopped off more than a million acres from the monument. Now there's a flurry of legal challenges. KUER shares some of the voices that have defined the ongoing monument fight. 

Josh Ewing/Friends of Cedar Mesa

A new education center is taking shape to protect the rich cultural resources around the Bears Ears in southeastern Utah.

Courtesy/City of Provo

Now that the holidays are over, many Utahns will be trying to figure out what to do with their Christmas trees.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Tracy Aviary's Cooper Farr is standing in front of Liberty Park pond. It's mostly empty and only a few birds are hanging out, but Farr, a conservation scientist, has no trouble naming them.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Tuesday was the first red air day of the winter season in the Salt Lake Valley. Members of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce used it to promote an initiative to get companies to reward their employees for driving less.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Environmental groups and Native American tribes wasted no time in filing lawsuits to stop the Trump administration's vast cuts to two Utah national monuments. 

Screenshot from Brighton's webcam.

Utah often has skiing weather by Thanksgiving. But this year it’s been closer to shorts weather, thanks to unusually high temperatures that dragged on even into the final week of the month.

Natural Resources Defense Council

Extremely hot days aren’t just uncomfortable. They’re unhealthy too. And the number of them is growing – nationally and in Utah – according to a new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

DennyThurstonPhotography /

Imagine this: The oil and gas industry in Utah supports overhauling air-quality permits for their wells – and so do environmental groups. It’s what’s actually happening right now at the Utah Division of Air Quality (DAQ) with its proposed regulations for more than 12,000 oil and gas wells in the state.

Tony Frates / Flickr Creative Commons

Toxic algae in nine Utah water bodies has triggered warnings and a reservoir closure.