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Both Dems and Republicans needed to end climate change, says Utah clean-energy advocate

Nov 9, 2021, 12:05 PM
climate change...
FILE - In this Sept. 3, 2002 file photo, farmer John Hawk looks over his land as his seed onion fields are watered in Holtville, Calif. For the seven states that rely on the Colorado River that carries snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California, that means a future with increasingly less water for farms and cities although climate scientists say it's hard to predict how much less. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019 will release its projections for next year's supply from Lake Mead, which feeds Nevada, Arizona and California. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. How do we preserve all that beauty from the ravages of climate change?

Sarah Wright, founder of Utah Clean Energy, talks with Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson about Utah’s transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy. 

Utah Republican joins climate summit

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, along with a Republican delegation, is attending the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, which runs through Nov. 12. As a founder of the Conservative Climate Caucus, he said he is a proponent of nuclear energy to replace fossil fuels. He said US technology and innovation can allay fears about nuclear as a dependable energy source.

“[Republicans] do not need to abandon conservative principles to be strong on the environment. There are amazing conservative principles that we’re not talking about that are quite frankly better than what’s on the table from some of my Democratic colleagues. Most of their proposals kill jobs, kill the US economy [and] put China at an advantage.”

At the COP26 World Leaders Summit, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that at least 110 countries representing 85 percent of the planet’s forests had signed the pivotal COP26 Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use, committing to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030.

Absent from the COP leaders summit, China, Russia and Brazil have also joined the promise, according to Prime Minister Johnson.

“Here in the state of Utah, what are we doing right when it comes to clean energy and the environment?” Boyd asked.

Wright said she was “thrilled” that Curtis and other Republicans have journeyed to Scotland to join the conversation on combating climate change.

“The only way we’re going to solve this problem is if we’re all at the table,” she said.

Leave no one behind

Wright said as the nation and world transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources, such as geothermal, solar, and wind, we need to make sure that no communities are left behind.

“Our coal communities have served us well over these years, and [that means] making sure that they have the resources to transition their economies,” she said.

“What are some of the things that have been on your radar that maybe haven’t quite made it into the public square yet, that we should be thinking about, especially here in the state of Utah?” asked Boyd.

Wright said the transition to solar and wind from fossil fuels has begun in Utah. She said major solar plants are up and running or being built in the state.

But “the science is clear that we need to move faster. So we just need to roll up our sleeves and be willing to have those tough conversations about how we get there,” she said.

Not a partisan issue

“What can the international community learn about how climate change is being addressed in Utah?” Boyd asked.

“This can’t be a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. It’s an issue that we just need to come together. And I think that’s Utah’s good at doing that,” Wright said, adding no country is an island in the fight to reverse climate change.

Related reading:

Republicans ready to act on climate change, Rep. Curtis says

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

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