Governor Spencer J. Cox appears remotely during his bi-monthly Direct Link program, hosted by KVNU along with the Utah Broadcasters Association

LOGAN — Before his bi-monthly Direct Link program on Tuesday evening, a service of the Utah Broadcasters Association, Utah Governor Spencer Cox had unveiled his energy plan.

He said on the program, moderated by KVNU’s Jason Williams, that as the state transitions from one form of energy to other forms, he is concerned on the impact these changes will have on rural Utah.

“We have some of the cleanest burning carbon fuels in the world and we have renewables in abundance, but it’s the economies in rural Utah that are most impacted by some of these changes. Specifically looking at my friends just over the hill from Sanpete County, those that live in Carbon and Emery counties, and a lot of people in Sanpete County who work in those mines or in those production facilities, and our friends out in the (Uintah)Basin, although things are starting to boom again out there,” Cox explained.

But the governor said it’s important to make sure they are ‘thoughtful’ when it comes to these transitions and the effects they will have, he said that’s a real emphasis he has had as governor.

The governor said energy independence is something he believes in very strongly.

“The United States should be energy-independent and that we should be a net exporter of energy. That’s important as we look at what’s happening overseas, what’s happening with Russia and the way that Vladimir Putin has been able to use energy for leverage, and really to hold nations hostage, and reign his terror down on innocent people. Those things could be prevented and the reliance on someone like him, if we are smart about the way we produce energy here in the United States.”

The governor said being ‘thoughtful’ involves, when looking at energy, that the three areas they focus on are affordability, reliability and sustainability.

A caller asked about the status of a bill that passed on starting the process of trying to take back federal lands for state control.

“That law did go into effect and we have been trying to implement that law, but the federal government does have those lands. So what we’ve put into place, is basically the infrastructure on how we would manage those lands, in a better way we believe than the federal government is managing them right now.”

Governor Cox said that even the environmental community admits to him, at times, that they are unhappy with how the federal government is managing some of these lands.

He said there are great examples of federal lands next to state-managed lands where the state lands have far more vegetation, they have fewer wildfires and the deer and elk populations are much stronger.

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