Press enter to search

Primary Member, State of Utah, Royalty Policy Committee

John Andrews is a member of the Department of Interior’s Royalty Policy Committee, and as a member of this committee advises Secretary Zinke “on policy and strategies to improve management of the multi-billion dollar federal and American Indian mineral revenue program.”

John Andrews attended Colby College for his undergraduate degree and went to law school at the University of Utah College of Law. In 1986, he began his career as a partner at the “Salt Lake City law firm of VanCott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy,” where he worked until 1993 . From January 1994 to October 1995, Andrews was the Utah Assistant Attorney General. In October 1995, Andrews began working for the Utah School & Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), “an independent state agency that manages 3.4 million acres of lands granted to Utah by Congress at statehood for the financial support of K-12 public education and other public institutions.” Currently, Andrews is SITLA’s Associate Director and Chief Legal Counsel, a role in which he “is responsible for all legal matters involving state trust lands, and also supervises SITLA’s ongoing land exchange programs, including the drafting and implementation of federal legislation for the exchange of lands with the federal government.”

Sources: [Department of Interior, Press Release, 09/01/17, LinkedIn Profile for John Andrews, accessed 09/20/17, and “John Andrews,” Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit, accessed 09/20/17]

Background Information

Previous Employers

Van Cott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy

Utah Attorney General’s Office

Utah School & Institutional Trust Lands Administration

Additional Background on Employers of Note:

John Andrews defended a development proposal that critics said could threaten drinking water safety.

John Andrews, in 2008 when he was Associate Director of the School & Institutional Trust Lands Administration, defended the proposed development of an “upscale housing project” on a mesa overlooking Moab, Utah, that Grand County residents argued could “put the town’s drinking water in jeopardy.” [Christopher Smart, “Moab activists call builder a threat to area’s water supply,” Salt Lake Tribune, 03/17/08]

John Andrews defended SITLA’s leasing land in Grand County to a company to create “an injection well for the disposal of water from oil and gas wells,” even though the county had a local ordinance against building such wells.

In 2010, SITLA leased land in Grand County, Utah “to Park City-based Summit Operating LLC to create an injection well for the disposal of water from oil and gas wells.” Grand County officials were concerned because it had “placed a moratorium on ‘produced water’ disposal sites,” and Grand County wanted SITLA “to abide by its land-use ordinances.” John Andrews defended SITLA’s actions, saying that Grand County had “no jurisdiction over the development of such wells on SITLA land.” [Christopher Smart, “Grand County spars with SITLA,” Salt Lake Tribune, 03/06/10]

John Andrews was a “key author” of a conservation agreement that environmental groups said was “designed to ensure the survival of oil shale mines” in Utah. 

In 2015, environmental groups criticized John Andrews, who was a “key author” of a conservation agreement that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service “forged with Utah officials.” US FWS cited the agreement in its decision “not to include two wildflowers on the Endangered Species List.” The two wildflowers, Graham’s and White River beardtongue, grew “almost exclusively over Colorado and Utah’s oil shale deposits.” Environmental groups contended that the agreement that Andrews authored was “really designed to ensure the survival of oil shale mines trying to gain a foothold on Utah’s state trust lands in the Uinta Basin.” [Brian Maffly, “Suit says Fish and Wildlife sacrificing flower for oil shale,” Salt Lake Tribune, 04/03/15]

John Andrews, as a representative of the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, appeared with Congressman Rob Bishop in support of his Public Lands Initiative.

[Rob Bishop, Press Release, 10/21/14]

Other Information

John Andrews, in 2010, said a national “‘monument designation is kind of like an atomic bomb.'”

[Amy Joi O’Donoghue, “Counties hammer out conservation plans,” Deseret News, 07/09/10]