The annual Lincoln Day dinner was held last week for members of the community to enjoy a dinner, silent auction and participate in a meet and greet with Republican Leaders. Speakers at this year’s dinner include Governor Gary Herbert, Senator Mike Lee and Congressman Jason Chaffetz.

Jason Chaffetz became the Chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee in January 2015. He is currently serving his fourth term in the US House of Representatives. In the 114th Congress, he also serves on the House Judiciary Committee.

Chaffetz was asked about Donald Trump running for the Republican party, “There is nothing that unites Republicans like Hilary Clinton, we’ll see how it goes coming out of the summer but I said I intended to support the nominee. He is attracting and bringing millions of people to the Republican Party that have not been there in the past.”

When asked if Chaffetz saw things really changing with Trump he responsed with, “What I don’t see with Barack Obama, I was elected the same time he was, so that’s my limited experience is with a President Obama. He never came to the table, he never invited members over, other than criminal justice reform, he was total disengaged in the whole process. I’d much rather have a President who wants to try some things  and wants to work with Congress  and is willing to strike a deal and compromise, that I think we’ll be a strength.”

Chaffetz was asked about possible designation of national monuments at Bears Ears and in our own backyard, San Rafael Swell, he said, “Monument designation under the Antiquities Act is at the Present’s whim . I think that demonstrates what so fundamentally wrong about it.  It is patently unfair and disproportionately  out of balanced and so we have been working with Rob Bishop as the lead sponsor on this Public Lands Initiative, trying to bring together all parties, from energy development, outdoor recreation,  to cattleman, to the environmentalists, local residents, you name it, the Navajo Nation down in San Juan County. We’ve been trying to bring all those parties together to come up with a win, win, its really a bottom up approach.”

President Obama declared war on the coal mine which really affected the Castle Country area, with the closing of a power plant and a few coal mines. Chaffetz was asked how could he reverse the affects of that, he responded with “I believe in all the above energy solution but it needs to be a fair fight. Some of the so called clean energy  doesn’t need to be subsidized to the degree that it has been just to make it competitive with coal. We are the Saudi Arabia of coal right here in Utah and we should be doing a lot more of it. It is much more clean than what people give it credit for, the technology has progressed over the decades. I hope a new administration, certainly this Congress has an appetite, hopefully the new administration will not use the blunt tool of the EPA and the Department of Interior, Department of Energy and all those regulatory bodies to try and shut all theses cool mines down.”

The Q & A portion of the evening’s event was short but hard hitting questions were asked that would affect our area. Overall, it was a great turn out for the community to get to know their Republican officials.

To learn more about U.S. Congressman Jason Chaffetz visit his website at