Posted on | May 16, 2009 | 2 Comments
NOT EVERY American politician happens to be fluent in Mandarin. But Utah Governor Jon Huntsman is; he served his LDS mission in Taiwan. He is also no stranger to international industry. His father founded the Huntsman Corporation, which became a global chemical company whose products most of us know in the form of the Big Mac clamshell container. So President Obama’s choice of the Republican governor of Utah for ambassador to China is no surprise.
But regionally in rural Utah, Nevada and California, Gov Huntsman has an arguably rarer fluency — with western water. Utah’s West Desert counties running parallel to the Eastern Nevada valleys targeted by the Las Vegas pipeline plan have no more influential ally than the Mormon Governor. Those counties staunchly oppose the Las Vegas pipeline. In a tour of the West Desert last year, Gov. Huntsman told ranchers assembled in Delta, Millard County, “I want you to know my resolve. … if I’m on the wrong side of Millard County, my ancestors would be spinning in their graves … I don’t care how many people live in the West Desert, whether it’s 5, 20 or 200, we have a way of life that must be protected.”
An hour after posting the above comments, this came in from Steve Erickson of the Great Basin Water Network: “Soon to be [UT] Governor Gary Herbert ‘is prepared to fight Nevada.’ ” See story in the Salt Lake Tribune.
(For blow by blow events on the politics of the Las Vegas pipeline go to the Great Basin Water Network, the Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret Morning News, the Las Vegas Sun, the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Southern Nevada Water Authority.)