Thirsty people who go to an eastern Utah juice and smoothie bar get a healthy dose of politics along with their beverages.
The owner of the "I Love Drilling Juice and Smoothie Bar" in Vernal, Utah, which is near the Colorado border, has blended up a big batch of controversy for charging self-identifying liberals $1 more for a 16 oz drink. The shop is owned by George Burnett, an outspoken pro-oil and gas activist. He said he turns around and donates that extra money to conservative causes including the Heritage Foundation think-tank.
"All three liberals have been happy to pay it," Burnett told KSL-TV in Salt Lake City. "We had a husband and wife come in - he was conservative and she was liberal - and he paid conservative for himself and liberal for her."
Burnett told KSL that the pricing system was intended to draw attention to what he sees as over-regulation of the energy industry and the financial problems facing the country.
The shop has gotten some negative comments on its Facebook page and has been the subject of media attention. But the owner doesn't shy away. A news story about the controversy is posted on the shop's web site.