Utah deserves a greater share of energy income

Posted: Sep 19, 2012

Written by

Salt Lake Tribune

Utah and the American Southwest have what the world wants: energy. There’s no reason why the taxpayers and the students of the state shouldn’t get more benefit from whatever types and amounts of energy prove economically viable and environmentally safe.

We have energy in conventional forms — oil and natural gas. We should have it in renewable forms — solar and wind. And some people are still clinging to the vain hope that we will have it in unconventional forms — tar sands and oil shale. Whatever resources are exploited on public land, the royalties charged to those doing the exploiting should be just as high as the market will bear. And more of those proceeds should stay in the state.

That’s the message of The Wilderness Society and the poll it recently released showing that, across the West, people of all political persuasions favor using federal land to create wind and solar energy installations. And they also favor treating the royalties generated from those projects the same way royalties from oil and gas leases are treated, specifically by sharing that revenue with the affected states.

It’s only fair.


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