Gov. Gary Herbert speaks at the Lincoln Day dinner.
The Emery County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner was held Jan. 27, at the San Rafael Museum. After the Pledge of Allegiance by Doug Lowe, the singing of the National Anthem by Brenda Seely and the Invocation by Sam Singleton, Karen Dellos introduced all of the guests, candidates and elected officials.
The rib eye steak and chicken florentine dinner was catered by Kent and Julie Wilson of BKs catering. Chairman Bill Dellos informed the group that caucus training would be held Feb. 23 in the court house on Main Street, Castle Dale for all precinct chairmen, vice chairman and anyone else who would like to know about caucus procedures.
Democrat caucuses are scheduled for March 13, and Republican caucuses for March 15. March 15 is the last day candidates can declare for an office. The State Republican Party Convention will be held April 21 in Sandy. The Emery County Republican Party Convention will be held April 18 at 6 p.m. in the Huntington Elementary School.
Gov. Gary Herbert the key note speaker for this meeting was introduced by Bill Dellos. The following are some of the remarks made by Gov. Herbert. He said, "This is the eighth year that I have been to Emery County. This is a slice of grass roots when we get together and talk about politics, policy and what we can do together to make our state better." He then introduced the First Lady, his wife Jeanette Snelson Herbert. He said, "This is our date night. My sister Connie and Steve Alt are here. She represents the Herbert family in Emery County." He complimented Senator David Hinkins and Kay McIff. He said that, "You have two of the best representing you. Tom Wright is the most active State Party Chairman that I have known. This is a Lincoln Day dinner, Abraham ham Lincoln is one of our great heroes and father of our party. A great and wise man, he was President during very difficult times. Part of his cutting-edge as he learned to be president were life experiences. He was a country lawyer and developed his style of speaking, his wit, his lawyer knowledge and lawyer approach. The story is that one time in Springfield, Ill., on a hot summer day he was going back and forth, defending his client. The prosecution was a fellow from the East Coast and he was a little bit of a dandy, he dressed a little fancier than did Lincoln, even had a little bit of an English accent to add a little flair to his presentation. He was always well-dressed in the latest fashion. On this hot summer day they agreed in court to take their coats off. When they took their coats off, they found that this fellow had his shirt with the buttons down the back. Now, that was the latest fashion from England. The jury were staring at the buttons down the back of his shirt. At the key part in the case, as Lincoln was winding up his summary, he said, 'My esteemed colleague professes a knowledge of the law. But just like his shirt is on backwards, his knowledge of the law is on backwards also.' This exemplifies a little bit of what's happening in this country. They have got it backwards in Washington. They're not following principles given to us by our founding fathers they're not staying true to principles of free market, capitalism and fiscal prudence. Utah is in fact the antithesis of that. We have stayed true to principles in Utah. We don't spend more than we take in. We pay the debt. We don't have unnecessary debt. We save for a rainy day. We have competitive tax rates for business owners and we have regulations that are common sensible. To allow the private sector to have success in the free market. That is why we are doing better than most any place in America. Certainly we are doing better than Washington D.C. That is part and parcel of all of us working together. Staying true to those principles, the guidance we have in our party platform and with the help we have from your great legislators, we are making it happen.The state of the State of Utah is very strong in comparison to other states. Our economy is growing at nearly three times the national average. We have the second fastest job creation state in America, second only to North Dakota, due to all the energy development going on in North Dakota on private land. You understand the difference between public land and private land here in Emery County. Unemployment rate has now dropped to 6 percent from 7.5 percent. We expect to bring that even lower next year. There are a lot of things we are optimistic about and the data shows we're doing well in Utah.
"One of the things that we all rail against is government inefficiency. We know that we need to empower the private sector, whether it's in creating jobs, economic expansion or doing charitable care. If I am in need and you need to help me out, you give me a dollar, and I will get the whole dollar. That is the most efficient way to transfer money and give help. When you go to a government program you're going to get something less than a dollar on the recipient end. The federal government is the worst. When you give a dollar to the federal government you get back about $.38 by the time it gets to the end user.
"That means that three of us now have to give a dollar in taxation to get the benefits we need to have. We need to short-circuit that and have more charitable care. In Utah, the principle we espouse here is that the first phone call, should not be to the federal government or government of any kind for those in need. The first phone call should be to ourselves, to see if we can find ways to help our neighbors and is a much more efficient system. That is the mentality we should have.
"Efficiency in government, you'll be pleased to note that we now have about 22,000 state employees in our state. You would have to go back to the year 2000 to find a number smaller than that. In Utah, we are doing more, with the fastest-growing state in America, we have larger families, we have a high birth rate, and we have people moving into Utah because of the quality of life and economic opportunities found here. With the pressure of that we have shrunk employees to the lowest level since the year 2000. We have gone from one state employee to 113 state residents. Today, we have one state employee to 139 state residents. We are getting leaner and more efficient using technology, just like you do. In the private sector you find better ways to do things, better processes more efficient. We're doing the same thing in government here in Utah. We have been recognized as the top high tech state in America. We have more than 900 of our services online 24/7. Government is labor-intensive and we have been able to do more with less, and yet provide more services to a fast growing population.
"For you here in Emery County, a keen issue is rural land. We are doing well on average from border to border. But we have some challenges in our rural areas. Part of it is because of the shrinking of our mining industry and our energy industry, you see that here in Emery County. That is why a year ago, I created a 10 year energy plan. We're finding ways to have good outcomes when it comes to energy development. In spite of somewhat obstructive government in Washington D.C.
"This past year, I had an opportunity to go through the SUFCO Mine. I wish everyone could see the SUFCO Mine. They would find out that it is a very clean operation. It Is very high tech. The people working there are breathing better air with their equipment down in the coal mine than they breath outside.
"I visited the Huntington Plant and found in the last five years they have gone from 88 percent opacity to nearly 99 percent opacity clean. You can hardly see anything coming out of the stack. If some of the people could see what we're doing with the technology today with coal. We've got more coal than they have oil. So why are we having a problem where we are over the proverbial oil barrel for energy. We have to do a better job of getting that message out and do a better job of talking about coal and the future of this country.
"The demand for energy is growing exponentially around the world. There is no way to supply the demands for energy in this world and in this country unless you have carbon-based fuel and or nuclear power. I know that there is wind power being generated. There should be a level playing field without subsidies if you can provide the product the customer wants. Rocky Mountain power is one of our biggest suppliers of wind power electrical energy in our state from wind power out of Wyoming. Every kilowatt of that power is backed up by coal and that is the reality.
"I met with Secretary Chu on a number of occasions. He has told me, 'Gary, we have wasted 37 years by not building nuclear power plants.' I think we have an opportunity here to improve our economy and our carbon-based production. Nuclear power, something we'll be looking at here in Green River and we'll see how that goes.
"The public land issue in a state that has 25 percent private land, if the federal government doesn't solve the Regional Management Plan process the challenge we are faced with here in Utah. If you don't solve the RMP process, we have had about seven of them around the state for six or seven years, we have gone through all the processes and then to have an administration come and jerk that rug out from underneath us is really uncomfortable. The RMP process needs to be solved, so that when we come up with a conclusion, and certainty, so that we can move forward. If we don't do that capital investors will say I'm not going to waste my time here for six or seven years, time and money and then have the rug jerked out from under you. I will move to North Dakota where there is private land.
"We are having some success with the EPA and air quality in the Uinta Basin which is holding up nearly, 20,000 permits for natural gas and oil. That is a decade and a half of work out there, and a lot of economic opportunities.
"We are going to work with the public land issues to make sure we protect the most as the BLM joins with us to make sure we have energy development opportunities. We will make sure we protect our farmers and ranchers. For the local businesses here, we are putting more money into the budget for the bear program or the business expansion and retention program. This is an economic program for Rural Utah.
"I am very bullish on Utah and all of our 29 counties, and I think working together, our future is very bright,' said Herbert.