2022 Capitol Report
We are five weeks into the 2022 legislative session, where floor time is getting longer, bills are moving faster, and our caffeine intake is reaching an all-time high.
Keep reading to learn more about last week’s updates.
Bill regarding Carbon Sequestration passes the House Floor and is being sent to the Senate
This week House Bill 244 Geological Carbon Sequestration Amendments passed the House floor with 71 yeas, 1 nay, and 3 absent.. This bill would authorize the Division and Board of Oil, Gas, and Mining to establish regulations for the geologic storage of carbon.
What is it? : Geological carbon sequestration is the method of storing carbon dioxide in underground geologic formations or rocks to keep it out of the atmosphere
Support or oppose?: This is where things get complicated. While HEAL supports the development of carbon sequestration as a tool to help reduce greenhouse gases , we are, however, skeptical of fossil fuel industries using this as a lever to produce more emissions.
House bill 164 Public Transit fares has been assigned to a committee.
House Bill 164 Public Transit Fares was assigned to House Revenue and Taxation Committee on Tue. Feb 22, 8:00 AM. It will be voted on before it moves on to the house floor.
Why support: HEAL Utah supports this bill as it will remove the financial barriers to accessing public transit, which will incentivize the reduction of personal car use and clean our airshed.
Senate Bill 146 Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining Amendments passed 3rd reading in the Senate.
Senate Bill 146, Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining Amendments passed 2nd and 3rd reading on the Senate floor (25 Yeas, 4 absent) and assigned to House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee. Wed. Feb 23, 8:00 AM.
What does this bill do? : Amending Utah definitions of “crude oil” and “oil” to include tar sands. This bill originally gave tar sands development a tax break. It was modified in committee to remove the state severance tax exemption, but we are still closely watching it.
Why we oppose: Tar sands are a particularly polluting form of fossil fuel. Bitumen, the substance which contains oil, has been associated with a wide range of negative health impacts. We do not want to encourage their extraction when we could be transitioning to cheaper wind and solar power.