SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) will be hosting a public debate about climate issues between Utah National House Congressmen and their challengers on September 26, 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the SLC Library Auditorium. Republican incumbents Representatives Blake Moore (Dist. 1) and John Curtis (Dist. 3) will be joined by their Democratic challengers Rick Jones (Dist. 1) and Glenn Wright (Dist. 3) for the debate, which will be moderated by Glenn Mills (ABC4 Utah) and Montana Burack (Park City High School).
The debate will cover a variety of climate topics including the climate solutions that were part of the Federal Inflation Reduction Act that recently became law in August 2022. The debate will be open to the public in person or virtually, but will require prior registration at the embedded links.
Lauren Barros is president of the Wasatch Back Chapter of CCL, which is responsible for organizing this event. She said the following about CCL’s goals for the debate:
“A lot of people want to do something about climate change, but don’t know what to do. When panelists see a lot of people come to an event like this, they see how many people care about climate change. That prompts them to have in-depth plans and solutions. It also gives people the chance to visualize what different climate solutions might look like after listening to panelists.”
Barros elaborated on the event, telling TownLift that the panel will be addressing questions submitted by high school students from 6-7 p.m., and questions from the rest of the public from 7-7:30 p.m.
Midterm elections are coming up this November 2022, making this debate an important opportunity for the participating congressional candidates to outline their platform on climate before the upcoming vote. Climate change issues have become an increasingly large part of political discussion in Utah given recent increased wildfires and drought as well as scientific predictions about Great Salt Lake shrinking.
Representative Blake Moore, who will be participating in the event, has recently made it into the news introducing the Pharmacist Conscience Protection Act to U.S. Congress this week. His position during the debate will indicate if he will continue to follow the Republican Party’s dominant climate platform or adapt more to his constituency’s increased climate anxiety in Utah.