Utah Rivers Council started this petition to Utah Attorney General’s Office and 1 other
We the undersigned request a formal investigation of Representative Mike Noel and the Division of Water Resources’ Lake Powell Pipeline. A complaint has been filed requesting an investigation of Mr. Noel’s possible conflicts of interest. Mr. Noel is also the Executive Director of the Kane County Water District (KCWD), an agency that would receive water from the Pipeline. We wish to know whether Mr. Noel used government resources to advance the Pipeline to benefit his own private land holdings in Kane County.
The proposed $2-3 billion Lake Powell Pipeline is a large infrastructure proposal that will have profound impacts upon Utah taxpayers, water ratepayers, and downstream residents of the Colorado River Basin. The Pipeline will have major impacts to the Colorado River and the landscapes and ecosystems it supports.
The only community in all of Kane County slated to receive Pipeline water may be the Johnson Canyon area where Mr. Noel owns ~750 acres of land, with an estimated value between $4 – 9 million. By using taxpayer money to deliver Pipeline water to his lands, Mr. Noel could see a significant increase in his property values.
Additionally, Mr. Noel has been a leading critic of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM), and was intricately involved in redrawing the boundaries of GSENM, a change that may personally benefit him in several ways. Not only does the new boundary contain a peculiar cutout for a parcel of Mr. Noel’s land, but the new boundary was also moved so the proposed Pipeline no longer has to pass through GSENM, which helped exempt the proposed Pipeline from permitting concerns by going through the GSENM.
As an unregistered lobbyist for both the KCWD and his own land ownership, Mr. Noel worked to pass several pieces of legislation that may benefit him, without following lobbyist guidelines and standards and without fully disclosing these personal interests, as is required by several Utah statutes. We are concerned that Mr. Noel may have violated the Ethics Requirements Governing Legislators, the Lobbyist Disclosure and Regulation Act and the Utah Public Officers’ and Employees’ Ethics Act.
Given these concerns, we the undersigned respectfully request that the Utah Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigate Mr. Noel’s potential conflicts associated with the Division of Water Resources’ proposed Lake Powell Pipeline.
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