AM Brief: Jazz assistant coach arrested, geothermal energy & thousands lack power in Navajo Nation
Editor’s Note: The KUER Newsroom will soon discontinue both the AM and PM written news briefs. The audio will continue to be available in NPR One and in podcast form. The audio feed will soon be added to the KUER app as well.
Thursday, April 28, 2022
BLM leases eight parcels for geothermal development
The Bureau of Land Management has leased roughly 21,685 acres for development of renewable, geothermal energy to fuel communities in Beaver and Millard counties. The BLM is aiming to permit 25 gigawatts of solar, wind and geothermal production on public lands by 2025 in support of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of a “carbon pollution-free power sector” by 2035. — Leah Treidler
Feds conditionally commit $500 million to Delta’s clean energy project
A major renewable energy project in central Utah just got a $500 million conditional loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. The Advanced Clean Energy Storage project will produce clean hydrogen and store it in underground salt caverns to fuel the Intermountain Power Plant. It currently runs on coal, but by 2025 it’ll be converted into a hybrid natural gas and hydrogen plant. The loan also helps put to rest concerns that efforts by state leaders would derail the project. They passed a law last year that stripped plant operators of certain "special privileges." Plant Spokesperson John Ward said that delayed their ability to raise money for the conversion, though the impacts were not as significant as originally feared. Now the project is gearing up for construction and is still on track for the 2025 start date. Read the full story. — Jon Reed
Jazz assistant coach arrested in fraud case
A former vice president of the National Basketball Players Association and current assistant coach for the Utah Jazz has been arrested in a fraud case. Keyon Dooling was among three individuals added to a case first brought in New York in October, when 18 former NBA players were charged. Dooling and the others were charged with illegally pocketing thousands of dollars by defrauding the league’s health and welfare benefit plan. Authorities said Dooling pocketed $350,000 himself. The Jazz placed Dooling on paid administrative leave after learning of the indictment. — Associated Press
Thousands in Navajo Nation live without electricity, despite recent funding
The Navajo Nation received roughly $1 billion from President Biden’s infrastructure bill, but an estimated 14,000 Navajo families still live without electricity, according to the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority. The Salt Lake Tribune reported the delay is partially due to local politics and tribal law. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said layers of federal bureaucracy have also slowed progress, and he’s advocating for Biden to issue an executive order to connect rural families to electricity more quickly. — Alastair Lee Bitsóí, Salt Lake Tribune
This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aims to inform readers across the state.
Antisemitic incidents surge in some Mountain West states
A new report showed the number of antisemitic incidents in the United States surged in 2021, including a sharp rise in some Mountain West states. The number of antisemitic incidents in both Colorado and Nevada shot up more than 50%, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Utah had nine incidents in 2021 — the seventh-fewest in the U.S. In January of this year, a Utah tech CEO resigned from his company after sharing antisemitic conspiracy theories in an email to state leaders and others in the tech industry. — Kaleb Roedel, Mountain West News Bureau