By: Features Editor, Dylan McCuskey
Last week, HCR 7, a climate resolution, was passed through its council with the help of Logan High students from LEAF club. The resolution’s goal is basically to get everybody on the same page and lay the foundation for talk about our planet’s future, both economically and environmentally. The bill advocates for discussion about incentives for reduced emissions and diversifying our energy portfolio. It was a big deal for HCR to get passed, as climate resolutions traditionally don’t do well in the Utah legislature. However, student support and a carefully worded bill were enough for HCR 7 to be passed with a tally of 8 to 3.
The road to passing HCR 7 was not an easy one for LEAF clubbers. The hearing for the resolution was initially scheduled for Friday, February 9. However, due to too many bills being heard, the hearing was rescheduled first to Monday, February 12, and then to the following Tuesday. At 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, LEAF club students departed from Logan for the Capitol, excited to attend the hearing at last. Unfortunately, HCR 7 was the fourth bill on the council’s agenda, so didn’t have much time to be heard at the end. There were only a few minutes for Representative Edwards (the bill’s sponsor) to give her presentation about the resolution. After she finished talking, it was opened up to public comment, but a man who opposed the bill took up the remaining time. Because of this, HCR was unable to be voted upon, and therefore the hearing was rescheduled a third time to Thursday morning.
Although students were not thrilled about waking up early again on Thursday, a large number of them showed up at Logan High early that morning. Their support ended up being extremely effective, as the bill passed with more votes in favor (8) than anyone expected. Logan High students, including Piper Christian, Kai Torrens, Wes Carter, and Elizabeth Hansen, gave inspiring testimonies that swayed many of the council members. The three members of the council who voted against HCR 7 gave valuable feedback, saying that the bill needed more mild wording and more consideration of every perspective relating to the climate situation. This advice will be used to further improve the resolution in preparation for future hearings.
The passing of HCR 7 was an enormous event in both LEAF club’s and Utah’s history. It provides a basis for the discussion of our future, which will be very valuable when decisions are being made about climate. Now, HCR 7 is moved onto the House floor, where it will be presented and voted upon by Utah’s House of Representatives. If it passes there as well, it will be sent to the Senate, and finally the Governor of Utah. If you would like to help support the resolution, be sure to contact any of LEAF club’s members about how to get involved. Your support could be key in ensuring a stable future for the state of Utah, both economically and environmentally.
News Editor: Elizabeth Needham, Emanuel Abebe
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