Is Obama’s Gain the Great Basin’s Loss?

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

“Quenching Las Vegas’s Thirst” wins Best of the West Award

The Las Vegas Sun series “Quenching Las Vegas’s Thirst,” has won first place for Environmental and Natural Resources Reporting in the 2009 Best of the West Awards. From the announcement:

“Emily Green’s series on water was smartly conceived, deeply reported and compellingly written. Water itself isn’t a new subject; the fact of water scarcity and the political battles it causes have been reported extensively elsewhere. But Green’s series brought the issue home. Her series’ structure — profiling five figures — reinforced a key collective insight of the stories: that the state of water in and around Las Vegas is largely a function of the personalities who, over decades, made water-policy decisions.

Green avoided easy preaching, instead telling the tale of a desert metropolis’ water fight in all its moral complexity, which made for much more interesting reading. And yet she uncovered plenty of disturbing facts — particularly, in …