Utah First

I hosted a dinner to honor high school graduates that I personally nominated to attend U.S. military academies.

These students go through a very rigorous interview process, they have impeccable grades, outstanding test scores, and they've also demonstrated and aptitude for leadership and high performance in every aspect of their lives.  I expect great things from this bright young group of students, and I am grateful that they are choosing to apply their talents to the service of our country.

Of the seven high school graduates from all over the state of Utah that have been accepted into these academies, four are going to the Naval Academy, two to West Point, and one to Air Force Academy.  I wish them the best in their future endeavors.

academy nominations

Pictured left to right: Dexter Clark, Seth White, Sen. Lee, Amy Johnston, Zerek Olson, & Keven Yeh

On Tuesday the 27th of May, the staff in my St. George office hosted an awards ceremony for Sidney Ingram (Ski).  LTC Anderson conducted the ceremony along with SGT Larsen and SGT Ogden of the SFC US Army 222.  They presented Ski with three ribbons he had earned during the Vietnam War. 

It is important that we all remember our Veterans that have served this country and that we ensure they receive the awards and recognition that they deserve.  I salute the efforts made by these men, and I appreciate the efforts of my staff to serve them.

Smith and Morehouse Reservoir

On May 21, a member of my staff participated in a tour of the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District. The tour began at Smith and Morehouse Reservoir in Summit County where up to 1,360 acre-feet of water from runoff is stored. This water eventually arrives at the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District's water treatment facility in Layton, is processed, and then is piped to various municipalities in Weber and Davis Counties.

wanship dam

Later on the tour, my staff got a chance to go underneath the Wanship Dam, a dam that impounds up to 62,100 acre-feet water from the Rockport Lake. A tour such as this makes one truly appreciate the clean water that is released from a faucet in one's home or office.  As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I recognize that it is crucial to maintain relationships with the stewards of our water infrastructure.


#RoadLessTraveledUtah Contest 


Utah has over 43,000 miles of public roads.  These roads connect communities, pass through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, and they enable Utahns to enjoy an enviable standard of living.  Senator Mike Lee would like to showcase an outstanding collection of Utah’s roads in his Washington DC office.  You are invited by Senator Mike Lee and Utahgram to submit your photographs of Utah’s roads to this Instagram photo contest.  In addtion to photos being displayed in Senator Lee's office, he will also send a flag flown of the U.S. Capitol to the three entrants whose submissions receive the most likes on Instagram.  Here are the rules:

  1. Be safe.  Pictures taken by drivers while driving will not be considered.
  2. The photo has to contain a road in Utah.
  3. Only 1 photo per person.  Multiple photos will be selected for the display, but only 1 photo per person will be selected.
  4. For communication purposes*, you must be following @SenMikeLee and @Utahgram on Instagram.
  5. Use this tag for your entry: #RoadLessTraveledUtah
  6. Winner info: Representatives from Senator Lee’s office will select up to 28 photos to be displayed in Senator Lee’s office.  In addition to the 28 photos that will be selected for display in Senator Lee’s office, a flag that has been flown over the US Capitol will be given to the top three entrants whose photos receive the most likes during the contest.  
  7. Contest ends on May 30, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. MT.

*Those whose submissions are selected will be asked to provide a larger file size image, so it can be printed for display. 


Click here to read official rules

Energy Tour of Utah

May 05 2014

On April 15 and 16, the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce organized a tour for my staff of various energy facilities across the state.  The following is a list of the facilities that were visited:

Intermountain Power Plant (Delta, UT) - Intermountain Power Plant in Delta, Utah is a large coal-fire power plant with an installed capacity of 1,900 MW. This plant, owned by Intermountain Power Agency and operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, generates power for thousands of homes in California and is transmitted there by way of the HVDC Intermountain transmission line. While the generated power ultimately leaves Utah, Intermountain Power Plant provides a very healthy property tax base for Millard County. A member of my staff enjoyed a toured the facility on Tuesday, April 15 with various energy industry leaders, government officials, and interested citizens.

intermountain power

First Wind Wind Farm (Milford, UT) - First Wind, a renewable energy company based in Massachusetts, has invested millions of dollars into Millard and Beaver counties by building 165 wind turbines with a combined maximum capacity of 306 MW. The project was completed in two phases; the first phase in 2009 and the second phase in 2011. To get the power to First Wind's customers in California, the company built an 88-mile transmission line and connected it to the already-existing Intermountain transmission line. A member of my staff visited this wind farm to learn more about this project and it's positive impact on the Milford City.


Beaver City Hydro Power Plant (Beaver, UT) - On Wednesday, April 16, a member of my staff visited and toured two of Beaver City's three Hydro Power Plant locations just east of the city. The first location became operational in 1904 after Beaver City residents approved a $10,000 bond to build the plant. The second location began generating power in 1942 and the third power plant was added in 1992. The three stations combined produce approximately 9,200,000 KWH per year. It is refreshing to see a great self-sustaining rural Utah community. Well done, Beaver City!

beaver hydro

Cove Fort Geothermal Power Plant (Millard County, UT) - Cove Fort Geothermal Power Plant, owned by Enel Green Power North America, was constructed with a total investment of $126 million and opened in October 2013. Located in Beaver County, Utah, this geothermal plant is expected to produce up to 160 GWH of power per year. A member of my staff toured the exterior as well as the interior of the newly-built plant on Wednesday, April 16.


It is clear from the reports from my staff who participated in these visits, that Utah is home to a diverse range of energy resources and a home to many innovators and risk-takers.  It is for this reason that I introduced the Energy Freedom and Prosperity Act to eliminate all energy subsidies from the federal government while also lowering the overall corporate tax rate.  Instead of relying on a system where Washington chooses an industry's winners and losers, we should be protecting a free enterprise system where success is measured by the extent to which a product meets the demands of consumers.  This the best way to ensure that we are all winners.

On Friday, April 18, I joined a group of lawmakers and policy makers from eight Western states in a summit to build support for the transfer of federal land back to the states.  After attending the summit it is clear that momentum is building for public land transfer across the West, and I will continue to work to educate Americans across the country about the burdens of excessive federal land ownership.  Here are some social media highlights of the summit:

This week I was able to meet with the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Governors for the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.

I posted this picture to my Facebook page, and an interesting discussion followed:

If you read through the comments, you will see that many of my followers were concerned that the unemployment figures that were cited were inacurrate.  I recognize that on a national level many Americans are struggling to find work, and when you calculate the low percentage of Americans that are participating in the workforce, it is clear that there is widespread failure in our economy to create the opportunities that many Americans are looking for.  This opportunity crisis is one of the primary reasons why I have introduced my conservative reform agenda.  One of the reasons why I am confident that these proposals will work is that they return much of the responsibility of governing away from Washington and back to state and local governments.  Utah is outperforming the nation in many key areas when it comes to addressing our opportunity crisis, and I would like to see this success replicated across the country.

For the last ten days, I have been actively traveling around the state meeting with Utahns.  I held two town hall meetings last week.  I have also met with business leaders, local officials, and various civil institutions.  In addition to this active schedule, I also had the chance to meet with students at Ogden High School, Brighton High School, and Salt Lake Community College.  Here are some highlights from these visits:

Meeting with students in Ogden

Meeting with students at Brighton High School

Today I taught the Brighton High School U.S. Government class. A student asked why I don't vote with my party 100% of the time. It was nice to see that they are paying attention to the voting records of their elected officials.

Meeting with Salt Lake Community College

I enjoyed participating in the "Pizza and Politics" event at Salt Lake Community College today. I also appreciate those who participated in our discussion on higher-education reform.

The U.S. Government teachers at Brighton High School

brighton teachers

Today I had the opportunity to meet with Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder.  Among the several things we discussed, I wanted to make sure he was aware of my efforts to reform our criminal justice system with the Smarter Sentencing Act.  He was supportive of my efforts, and I am committed to passing these reforms out of the Senate:

If you want to learn more about why criminal justice reform is overdue, a new article in The American Conservative outlines the bipartisan consensus that is building to pass these reforms: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/conservative-sentencing-reform-politically-savvy-morally-right/

ON April 10 my mobile office visited Nephi, Gunnison and Mt. Pleasant.  During these visits members of my staff met with local residents and city officials to open a dialogue about the issues that are most important to them.  Several law enforcement officials shared their concerns about tensions that exist between local law enforcement officials and federal law enforcment officials from agencies such as ICE and the BLM.  My staff also learned about trucking regulations that were having an impact on a local small business.  Local officials also took the time to showcase some of their local facilities and historical sites.  I appreciate the feedback that was relayed to me by my staff from those who took the time out of their busy day to connect with my office.