(KCPW News) A resolution asking lawmakers to acknowledge and work to address the effects of climate change failed in a House committee on Monday.
North Salt Lake Republican Rep. Rebecca Edwards sponsored House Joint Resolution 18. Edwards, along with Salt Lake City Democratic Rep. Joel Briscoe, collaborated with students from state universities and high schools to craft a measure addressing the causes and consequences of rising temperatures and supporting a commitment to what the resolution calls “conservative environmental stewardship.”
Students testified about air quality, shrinking snow packs and the use of alternative energy sources. Quinn Sutton, a student at Brigham Young University, said the time had come for lawmakers to come to terms with the problem.
“If I may be so bold to speak for the representatives of the several universities assembled here today, we ask you, our elected officials, to find the political solvency to establish truth over fear, and fact over ambiguity and scientific solidarity over political superstition,” Sutton said.
Members of the House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee said they appreciated the students’ efforts, but voiced concerns about pointing fingers at any one cause of climate change. Rep. Carl Albrecht, a Republican from Richfield who is a retired utility executive, said the state shouldn’t endorse removing coal and gas from the equation.
“Resolutions are sent to Washington, D.C. for further action,” Albrecht said. “Do we want to send a message to Washington, D.C. that we’re done with fossil fuels here in Utah? Do we want to kill our economy?”
A previous version of the students’ resolution, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Jim Dabakis, failed to get a senate hearing this session.
The resolution presented on Monday was rejected on a 5-5 vote.