Some of you no doubt know me from my outspoken opposition to the construction of the Lake Powell pipeline, at public meetings. Now that Iron County has wisely decided not to participate in this ridiculously expensive boondoggle, it is essential that we have a representative who will fight to keep the state from pouring money down that rathole.
I am the only candidate pledged to fight against use of your state tax dollars to fund construction of the pipeline.
Water is a hugely complex issue, made all the more complex by antiquated government regulations that have been a huge contributor to creating the mess in which we find ourselves. For every gallon of water that flows in the Colorado River, there are sixteen people with a piece of paper that says they own a quart of it. The math just doesn’t work.
Some of the proposed plans to repair our broken water rights system are Draconian and unsatisfactory. Many rights holders – based on seniority of rights, the date the rights were purchased – are simply to be stripped of their water. Others would have their “unusable” rights purchased by the state, at a cost of tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars to Utah taxpayers, who aren’t the ones who caused the problem at all. (Would you be surprised to hear that the state senator who sponsored that bill had “unusable” rights to sell? Me neither.)
I am not here to tell you that there is any easy solution – there isn’t. It’s been a problem for a very long time, and it can only get worse as population grows. But as a businessman, I learned to sit down with the hard facts and reach a conclusion that was most beneficial – or at worst, least harmful – to the greatest number. I look forward to sitting down with all interested parties and working toward finding real, viable solutions that, while probably not perfect for everyone, will protect everyone’s livelihood to the greatest extent possible, and not strip anyone of their hard-earned cash to prop up an unsustainable system.
All that said – the Lake Powell Pipeline project is far too expensive. I opposed it as a local investment, and I will oppose any designation or expenditure of state tax toward its construction. We have made the decision locally to not participate, and it is not within the state’s rightful authority to force Iron County back into the project – in any way, shape or form.
And if you have any questions about where the incumbent stands on funding the pipeline – he has received campaign donations from Washington County legislators David Clark, Brad Last and Don Ipson, all of whom want the state to pay for the project. Draw your own conclusion.
My other positions: