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AM News Brief: Romney Wants Aid For Families, Cities Reach EPA Standards & Biden And Fossil Fuels

Photo of the Wasatch mountains covered in snow.
Brian Albers
/
KUER
Sen. Mitt Romney, R, Utah, is calling for additional federal economic assistance for unemployed people and families with children to help offset some of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. This story and more in the Wednesday morning news brief.

Wednesday morning, November 11, 2020

State

Romney Calls For Federal Dollars For Families

Sen. Mitt Romney, R, Utah, is calling for additional federal economic assistance for unemployed people and families with children to help offset some of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Romney said he’d like to see Congress’s next COVID relief package include an increase in unemployment benefits. He also wants to give families direct assistance based on the number of children they have to help pay for childcare and remote learning costs. — Sonja Hutson

Northern Utah

Cities Reach E.P.A. Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that Logan, Salt Lake City and Provo have met air quality standards for fine particulate pollutants. Scott Baird, with Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality, called this a significant achievement but said the state can’t stop here. “There's a lot of work ahead of us, but we take confidence in the fact that we know what we have done is working and that will motivate us to move forward,” he said. Baird said now the goal is to reduce emissions across the state by an additional 25% in the next six years. The EPA also recognized Salt Lake and Utah Counties and Ogden for meeting the goal for larger, coarse pollutants. — Ross Terrell

Region/Nation

Nuclear Project Envisions Smaller Plant

A company developing reactors for a nuclear power plant in Idaho said Tuesday that it has figured out how to get 25% more power out of each one. Over 20 Utah municipalities are invested in the project, which is expected to have 12 reactors and cost around $6 billion. But this development could make a smaller plant viable. The group that represents the cities is called the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, and it says it’s excited about the possibility of a smaller plant — but only if the projected price of power stays the same or goes down. The project has struggled to attract investors and iess than a third of the plant’s total projected output has been claimed after a number of big investors dropped out of the project last month. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Biden And Fossil Fuels

President-elect Joe Biden plans to move the U.S. away from fossil fuel development, but he may face some challenges. Biden’s plans include incentivizing renewable energy, limiting methane pollution and stopping fossil fuel development on public lands. However, if the GOP maintains its majority in the Senate, that could be a hurdle. Biden could do some of this on his own through executive actions. Those would likely face lawsuits though, and could go before federal judges appointed by President Trump. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

More COVID-19 Cases On Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation reported 79 news COVID-19 cases and one more death Tuesday. President Jonathan Nez urged people living on the reservation to buckle down, reminding them that they brought down case counts earlier in the pandemic and can do so again. — Diane Maggipinto