U.S. Markets open in 50 mins.

Utah political leaders call for energy development

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Four members of Utah's congressional delegation reiterated their calls Thursday for the federal government to give states greater freedom to develop energy.

Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, and U.S. Reps. Rob Bishop and Chris Stewart, all Republicans, discussed federal regulations and control of public lands at the second annual Governor's Energy Development Summit in Salt Lake City.

They called for fewer federal restrictions that they say hamper opportunities to produce energy from oil shale and other resources.

Gov. Gary Herbert, who hosted the event, said innovation and creativity will allow the state to balance producing energy from Utah's natural resources while still protecting the environment.

The Republican governor said it's important that people are conscious about energy efficiency and conservation.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that more than 150 protesters gathered outside the summit early Thursday, calling for politicians to focus on renewable energy rather than fossil fuels.