Adler Op-Ed: Utah Working to Shut the Door to Citizen Involvement in Environmental Decisions

by Ben Somberg

March 09, 2011

CPR Member Scholar Robert Adler has an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune looking at a series of developments in Utah -- administrative actions as well as pending legislation -- that could hinder citizen engagement in environmental decisions. The context, write Adler, is this:

Whether or not one agrees that Tim DeChristopher was legally or morally justified in his civil disobedience as “bidder 70” in Bureau of Land Management oil and gas leases, virtually everyone asks why he did it.

I do not presume to speak for him. But one possible reason was surely his frustration about what he perceived as the ineffectiveness of other avenues to influence public decisions that affect his health and the quality of his environment.

It is ironic, therefore, that at the very time Mr. DeChristopher and his attorneys have been fighting to highlight this frustration, multiple levels of Utah’s state government have been working to systematically shut the door to other citizens who want to raise — through entirely lawful means — important questions about the quality of our air and water, the use of our public lands and resources, and the nature of the world we will leave to our children.

Adler's full op-ed is here.

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