Utah

  Utah        

Population: 2.8 Million

Energy Production

  • 1,128.7 Trillion Btu total energy production
  • 26,272 Thousand barrels crude oil
  • 457,525 million cubic feet of natural gas
  • 19,648 Thousand short tons of coal
  • 3,057 Thousand MWh electricity produced  (January 2012)

Energy Consumption

  • 797 Trillion Btu total energy consumption
  • 53.1 Million barrels of petroleum
    • 25.5 Million barrels of gasoline
    • 222,166 Million cubic feet of natural gas
    • 15,950 Short tons of coal

State Government Profile

Governor: Gary Herbert (R): first term; first elected in 2009; no term limits

Legislature:

Speaker of the House: Rebecca Lockhart (R)

President of the Senate: Wayne Niederhauser (R)

Bicameral body: Both chambers are Republican controlled

75 House Members: 60 Republicans, 15 Democrats

29 Senate Members:  24 Republicans, 5 Democrats

Energy Issues

Air quality issues have drawn an eye from environmentalists and state regulators over the past couple of years as the state has seen an increase in oil and gas production.  The Utah Division of Air Quality is in the process of evaluating environmental impacts and how to monitor the air shed. Much attention has been focused on the Uintah Basin where most production has occurred recently. In addition, much focus has been on protecting the use of public lands since a large concentration (compared to other states) of exploration has been on these territories. Refinery expansion in the state of Utah has fueled most of the air quality debate and as oil production is at 20-year highs, more attention will be drawn to this sector and how to handle this policy debate. Similar to other issues that take priority in a number of oil and gas producing states, hydraulic fracking is an activity that has taken on more focus from regulators and legislators. At the heart of the debate is to keep federal regulators out of the process and ensure that this activity remains in the hands of state interests. A resolution was passed by the Senate that addressed this debate. Eminent domain issues continue to be a focus of the legislature and more clarity was provided on this debate when the House passed a bill that would define the process an entity must take before invoking eminent domain authority. This was viewed as a big victory for the oil and gas industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *