IN PROGRESS UPDATES BELOW
WE MUST DEFEND FARMERS; PROTECT LOCAL FOOD SUPPLY
The drought has been a lie to cover up for mining lithium (among other things). The state of emergency has been a lie from the beginning. Now they want to use both the fake-drought and abusive emergency powers to take away your ability to use water for your family, or worse, take it away from our farmers. This is from the United Nation’s Agenda 2030 and is an all out assault on our food supply and ability to be self reliant. Representative Carl Albrecht is the sponsor of this legislation.
Utah Freedom Coalition Reported:
EMERGENCY WATER SHORTAGES AMENDMENTS (H.B. 150) would allow for the governor, if he declares a state of emergency for a water shortage, to interrupt our water usage under eminent domain (the government can take or destroy your property to do so) and would allow for our farmers to undergo crop losses due to water interruption. Rural agriculture and livestock watering is LAST on the list of preferences for water right priority during a water shortage. They’ve moved commercial agriculture up fourth on the list.
Please give public comment tomorrow if you can (see action items at the bottom of this article) and share so others can if they’re able to. Monday, January 30th, 2023 at 2pm at the Senate building (right next to the Capitol) Room 120.
VOTE NO HB150
View the bill here: https://le.utah.gov/~2023/bills/static/HB0150.html
This bill gives the government power to declare a “temporary water shortage emergency”:
How will they stop you from using too much water if they’ve declared a “temporary water shortage” emergency? Well, either they’ll shut you off using those fancy new Smart Water Meters they’ve been installing, or are they preparing to damage something physically in order to prevent you or your local farmer from having the water they need?
UPDATE, 1/30/23 – 12:40:
Reported to us from the capitol:
HB 150 substitution proposed – only makes changes to reimbursement language. Retains all of the language empowering Gov to declare six month long water emergency and then decide (w/ state engineer) who gets water.
SO STILL A BIG NO!
Do not let them excuse you with “oh we fixed it”. The government should have zero power to declare water emergencies at all. We must insist that this bill is only modified to completely revoke all emergency water shortage powers. Let local communities govern their own water. There’s no constitutional authority for the state to decide how much water private residences or business can use.
Water is a property right and a natural right to obtain from the land. To take this right from the people is a violation of article 1 section 1 of the state constitution
All persons have the inherent and inalienable right to enjoy and defend their lives and liberties; to acquire, possess and protect property;
Call for a vote to modify the bill to *completely revoke* water shortage emergencies, completely.
UPDATE 3:08 PM – Bill not heard yet
UPDATE 4:15 PM – They are starting to discuss the bill right now
UPDATE 4:34 PM: tyrants arguing
– Water right is only taken “temporarily”
– We’ll pay you for taking your water rights away
– The bill hopefully will “never ever be used”
Six months is “temporary” ?
Bill will never be used “hopefully”? Famous last words by government. Then why have it at all?
UPDATE 4:39 PM:
– Governor can declare water emergency for six months, legislative can extend six more months. One year is “truly short term”
To call one full year of government control of the water as “short term” is a joke.
They’re arguing that the emergency powers are ok as long giving a legislative committee oversight is ok. We should disagree with this excuse. The legislature took no action to fix the abuse of emergency powers during 2020/2021. There’s no expectation of a backbone by our legislators.
UPDATE 4:51 PM:
Rep Keven Stratton proposes limiting the emergency to 30 days. This is still no good, because no matter what the length of the emergency, it’s still abuse of powers. Most likely this was a strategic way to tell the public it’s “only 30 days” instead of 6 months, so be thankful.
UPDATE 5:07 PM:
Lots of good public comments. Good job Utah for showing up. So many commenters that they couldn’t take them all.
Comment from Warren Peterson
“You won’t like HB168 from last year, so we better pass this bill” – This sounds like a threat. Don’t pass two bad bills, use this opportunity to revoke all the bad things.
Motion made to hold the bill, so that there’s time to think about it. Rex P. Shipp supported holding the bill.
Keven Stratton: Who originally looked like a conservative for giving us “only 30 days” for the emergency. But now that there’s a serious debate to hold the bill, Keven shows his true colors to defend central control. Defending Utah has seen Keven use this gaslighting in times past (such as when we lost control of our sheriffs as primary law enforcement in 2016).
Insider comment: “If we had not been through  there would have been no ‘misunderstanding’ [by the public] on this issue”
Good job to all the commenters who showed up. I’d say you successfully achieved creating the pressure to where they pretended to hold the bill. Now we need to either kill it, or modify it to fully revoke authority for *ANY* water emergencies. Which is how you fix both this bill AND HB168 from last year.
UPDATE 5:23 PM:
They voted to pass the bill. Even “conservative” Shipp who supported holding the bill, voted yes to vote it through.
UPDATE 1/31/23 4:00 PM:
Bill is on the house floor, keep texting your reps to withdraw emergency powers.
Comment from Dr. Scott Bradley:
Thus far, the changes that I have seen bantered about, such as by a substitute bill, still are fatally flawed. Under these supposed “improved” bills the governor would obtain the authority to declare a water emergency based upon his own initiative. The power is not currently held by the governor, nor is it authorized by the Utah Constitution (see Utah Constitution Article VI, section 30).
The idea that the governor can declare emergency powers and seize control of anything is repugnant and must be removed. It would be simply eyewash and obfuscation to pass any bill with that draconian power being “delegated” to the governor. There is simply too much chance for abuse, which we have painfully observed in the recent past. Once burned, we should be very much on guard. Shame on us if we allow it!!
An amendment removing the offensive powers would be appropriate.
UPDATE 2/2/23: Bill still not through the house, keep up the pressure
UPDATE 2/2/23 at 3:20: The bill was “circled”. Which means it was temporarily put on “the shelf” and can suddenly come back at any moment.
Watch this updated video with highlights from the committee meeting and a full constitutional analysis by Dr. Scott Bradley.
UPDATE 2/9/23 at 3:20: House passed it 70 yes, 1 no, now it’s on to the Senate.
They introduced a substitute that is meaningless against the original problem. The same constitutional violation exists.
UPDATE 2/13: Bill is now in the Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee – Bill can be killed here by the Senate Committee – Contact your Senators
UPDATE 2/15: It’s on the Senate floor. Updated calls to action described in this action alert: Click to Read
UPDATE 2/28: Passed the senate with no negative votes.
UPDATE 3/2: House voted again to approve updates from the Senate. No negative votes.
1. Contact your legislator and tell them they must – modify this bill, to revoke all emergency powers. The main excuse they’re using is they have to “Fix” the bad bill that went into place last year (HB168). But if we modify this bill to revoke all emergency water shortage powers, then everything is fixed all at once. Additionally, when any possible water shortages are artificial because the state has already given the water to special interests (Lithium Mining, the NSA, other big tech data centers, etc), the entire motivation is based on a lie.
Contact Your Reps: www.DefendingUtah.org/ContactYourRep
2. Attend the committee hearing, Monday, Jan 30th at 2pm, info at this link.
[This has already happened, see the UPDATES section for how it played out]
You can attend virtually and give comment online if you can’t make it in person here:
When the meeting is live, there will be an option, near the top of the page, to participate in meeting virtually. Click that link. When they get to HB 150, you can raise your virtual hand by clicking on the hand on the bottom of the screen. It will turn blue when it is raised. We need to be part of fighting for our freedoms and telling our public servants when we don’t consent!
3. THE BIG WIN – Protect your local city or county through nullification: In 2020, a declaration to end the emergency powers of the state made the rounds in Utah. This declaration spells out why the state should no longer have emergency powers because they’ve abused them. If you get your city to formally adopt this into city or county code, you will have nullified any abuse of emergency power that could possibly happen for at least your small local area. Download the 2020 declaration here and get your local city to simply adopt it into code.