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HEAL Blasts Gov. Herbert's Energy Advisor Appointment

PRESS RELEASE

HERBERT ADMINISTRATION APPOINTS NEW ENERGY ADVISOR WITH CLOSE TIES TO OIL, GAS AND NUCLEAR INDUSTRIES

CODY STEWART HAS DISTRUBING TIES TO ANTI-ENVIRONMENTAL FRINGE GROUPS

HEAL Utah today blasted the Herbert Administration for appointing an Energy Advisor with close ties to the oil, gas, and nuclear industries – yet who has little or no experience in renewable energy.

Cody Stewart has a career of working as a lobbyist for elected officials and trade associations with a strong dirty energy bent, with minimal concern for environmental impacts.

Today’s appointment shows yet again that while Herbert pretends to be in favor of all kinds of energy, his policies, actions, and appointments show a clear bias towards the dirty energy of the past.

In his Ten Year Energy Plan, released in March 2011, Herbert claimed that Utah would be “at the very forefront of the nation -- and oftentimes the world in…renewable energy technologies.”

So how is Utah doing when it comes to developing our abundant wind, solar and geothermal resources?

The short answer: appallingly bad. The state is falling sharply behind the rest of the country in renewable energy. Only 3 percent of the electricity Utahns use comes from renewable sources, according to federal data. That leaves Utah ranked 46th in the nation.

“It’s appalling that even as Utah ranks near the bottom in terms of renewable energy use, Gov. Herbert appoints an Energy Advisor whose only energy expertise seems to be underhanded lobbying for dirty energy projects,” says Matt Pacenza, policy director for HEAL Utah.

“For example, he has close ties to Aaron Tilton, whose Blue Castle nuclear project is unable to answer basic questions about financing, yet mysteriously enjoys strong backing from Utah officials.,” Pacenza added. “Herbert has claimed he wants a debate on nuclear power in Utah. Clearly, after forking over our state’s water to the project and appointing Mr. Stewart, there’s no doubt where ‘Dirty Gary’s’ priorities lie—with polluting and dangerous energy.”

Stewart was the spokesman for Americans for American Energy (AAE), a group led by then Utah State Representative Aaron Tilton.  Tilton is now the CEO of Blue Castle Holdings, whose only named potential investor is currently under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for fraud.

AAE claimed to be a "a non-profit, grassroots-based organization,” but was actually run out of a pro-energy lobbyist firm in Colorado. For more information, go to: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Americans_for_American_Energy

That lobby firm, Policy Communications, has created a series of astro-turf groups, including: the Western Business Roundtable, the Partnership for America, and NextGen Energy Council.  Stewart served as staff for many. Each took extreme positions against climate change research and in favor of unfettered drilling and exploration for oil and gas.

For more information, go to:
http://www.desmogblog.com/policy-communications-inc-astroturf-shell-game

“Clearly, Gov. Herbert can now drop the pretense that he truly cares about solving our state’s many pollution and public health problems, or that he wants to lead the nation in renewable energy development,” says Pacenza. “This administration’s policy is now being driven by the most extreme wing of dirty energy lobbyists in the West. Utahns should be very worried.”

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