(KCPW News) A bill that would have limited the executive branch's power to enter into climate change agreements was killed by a technical glitch this legislative session. But Rep. Roger Barrus (R-Centerville) says he's already working on several scenarios to revive his bill. One of these is to include it in a request for a special session, which is solely up to the governor to convene.
"I hope that the governor in looking at that will recognize that this isn't a contest of who's going to win and whose going to loose," Barrus said. "It's an opportunity to look at our entire state energy economy and find ways for all aspects of it to win."
Barrus said many lawmakers are disappointed his bill won't be enacted after it passed both the House and Senate. A single word, "wholesale," which was added in a Senate committee amendment, was not included in the final version of the bill approved by the full Senate and House, preventing it from being signed into law. Barrus said legislative counsel caught the mistake after the session ended. It would have required a taxpayer-funded study of the financial impact of new climate change policy before the executive branch signs off on it.
While it seems unlikely the governor would help him revive a bill that seeks to limit his authority, Barrus remains hopeful. The lawmaker cosponsored one of the governor's top renewable energy incentive bills that passed this session. Governor Huntsman mentioned those bills during his monthly press conference on Thursday.
"What I think we ought to take some comfort in, even glee, is the fact that you've got renewable energy that is a priority in this state now," Huntsman said. "And we have the tools by which we can make this more of a reality than ever before. And probably more than any state in America when you look at the two pieces of legislation that are moving us inexorably toward new technologies."
Barrus said legislative staff is also working with the governor's office on an informal agreement about how to approach climate change policies.