A group of concerned persons attended the monthly SITLA board meeting to speak during the public comment period. Here are some videos of folks speaking at the meeting in November.
Four high school students came to speak and ask questions of the Board of Trustees at the monthly meeting of the Schools and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) in Salt Lake City.
Students address SITLA board of trustees
Here is a clip of some High School students in Salt Lake city who took the time to attend this public meeting and ask some questions of the SITLA board of trustees. These students are beneficiaries of the trust. Listen to the board responses.
Posted by Utah Tar Sands Resistance on Wednesday, November 22, 2017
The students asked the board about climate change and the effects for future generations.
Another student asked about SITLA”s role in causing air pollution.
The board was aloof and somewhat condescending to the well informed students who are the beneficiaries of the school lands trust.
The students were from West High School, Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts, Highland High School and The Academy for Math Engineering and Science.
Utah Tar Sands Resistance had 2 speakers and other people of all ages spoke.
SITLA is entrusted with leasing and developing state trust lands for the benefit of primarily the K-12 public education system in Utah. SITLA is constitutionally mandated to generate revenue from trust lands to build and grow permanent endowments for the beneficiaries.
The seven member un-elected board with no direct public accountability and ties to either fossil fuel interests or real estate development are responsible for the management of leases to these trust lands.
The public has many concerns about SITLA. These include individual trustees conflict of interest which can (or has) led to decisions which may benefit board members or their colleagues. Secondly, SITLA’s policy promoting oil shale and tar sand strip-mining has failed. While millions of dollars have been spent, not one barrel of oil has been realized and pristine lands, most of which are within the Uncompahgre reservation boundaries, have been devastated. Recent failed or failing projects include: US Oil Sands, Red Leaf Resources , Enefit Energy, and MCW Energy (now called Petroteq). Everyone of these projects is unprofitable, un-reclaimed, harmed land, bankruptcies, busted communities have been the legacy so far.
Mr. Lonnie Bullard a member of the SITLA board of trustees takes time during the monthly meeting to insult the students, who are the beneficiaries of the trust, and the other folks who spoke. Some of the students who spoke were not even offered chairs in the mostly full room. They were attending the meeting at 9 am likely missing some school classes, to speak during the 10 min public comment period which occurs at the beginning of the 2-3 hour meeting. Mr Bullard insulted the students for leaving before the meeting ended. I pointed out that the students likely had to return to high school. He also criticizes “people who choose to spend the time in tents and on lines” for wanting a magic wand. UTSR did in fact participate in the governors clean energy alliance by suggesting that Utah take tar sands and oil shale development OFF the governors energy plan. Needless to say this proposal was not accepted.