Deep Red Utah Sees Rise of Office Seekers Concerned About Climate Impacts in Their State

Posted on April 15, 2024

Since 2010, when its conservative legislature passed a resolution essentially writing denialism into state policy, Utah has been hit hard enough by climate change to shift its politics on the issue, Marcus Baram reported for Capitol & Main. Two self-professed climate candidates are running to succeed Mitt Romney in the US Senate in light of intense heat waves and extreme drought threatening the natural beauty of the proud coal- and oil-producing state. Republican primary frontrunner John Curtis, who as a House member founded and leads the Conservative Climate Caucus in Congress, is pushing for more support for clean energy and blames his party for not taking climate change seriously. Temperatures in Utah have risen at about twice the global average over the last 50 years. Farm productivity is decreasing, respiratory diseases are increasing, and the Great Salt Lake is shrinking. In 2020, Utah Clean Energy launched a historic compact that brought together more than 100 of the state’s political and business leaders around climate action and clean air solutions. “For voters, climate has become a bigger issue than it has been in the past,” said Josh Craft, the group’s government and corporate relations manager.

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