I recently read the heart felt, almost tear jerking editorial in the Sun Advocate where it explained how Carbon County unemployment rate is higher than the rest of the State.
My immediate reaction was "DUH"!!
How many of our residents understand that when our elected county officials do everything possible to drive industry away that it results in higher unemployment?
Case in point: After two years of review, an EIS (Environmental Impact Study) for a major oil and gas company was ready to be signed. At the last minute of the last day our then county commissioner appealed the approval decision based on four gates on three dead end roads that went "nowhere". A cry of "foul" was voiced that the county was left out of the loop on this decision, which quite honestly, was not true.
The original document called for 17 gates. The oil company negotiated down to four gates and the document was available for the county to comment on for three months. The past commission was either too busy, too lazy or too dumb to even read the document! My guess is, it was two out of three and I'm sure they weren't that busy. The record of decision was delayed six weeks.
The oil company in question who had spent 10 million dollars to upgrade a road so that personnel, materials and contractors based in Carbon County could save time and in turn save the company money to access their development, pulled all of their plans to develop in Carbon County and are currently located in Duchesne County. This one act probably cost Carbon County 100+ high paying jobs. I have even heard a rumor that the Duchesne County government was considering an award to one of our commissioners as the person most responsible to bringing new business to Duchesne County.
With a two out of three changes in the commission some of us where optimistic and thought the situation would improve. It hasn't so far. It would appear we have the same mentality, except we have two following one who in fact created the problem in the past.
Another example is the way Carbon County does everything possible to delay and impede all business in the county with numerous meetings with Planning and Zoning before a project even gets to the commission. It is a joke among industry. Company's judge a project as to whether it is a three to five Planning & Zoning meeting project, resulting in three to six months of delays, I am sure you know how much industry loves this.
The same project in Emery County would be approved in less than 30 days. In Duchesne County it might take a week, unless you were in a hurry. The end result to the environment is the same. In fact, in many cases the other counties have better safeguards.
People in Carbon County who want to complain about the unemployment rate need to remember who they elected. The fact we do not have a stronger, more diversified base of employment is that we need elected officials who do more than give lip service to bring jobs to the county.