As President Joe Biden prepares to visit Utah next week, a common theme has emerged: few people seem to know exactly why he is coming.

The White House announced Monday that Biden would stop in Utah during a three-state swing from Aug. 7 to 10, along with visits to Arizona and New Mexico.

Amid record-breaking heat waves throughout the American West, Biden is expected to discuss climate change and clean energy during his visit. He is also expected to talk about the Inflation Reduction Act, passed last fall, which made an investment in clean energy projects.

On Aug. 10, Biden will be in Park City for a fundraiser hosted by Kristi and John Cumming, founder of ski resort company Powdr, and Nancy and Mark Gilbert, former U.S. ambassador. The event is being advertised as a fundraiser for the Biden Victory Fund, the committee backing Biden’s 2024 reelection campaign. (At the time of publication, Mark Gilbert — a Park City resident — had not returned a request for comment.)

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But beyond this, details of the president’s visit are anyone’s guess.

Jennifer Napier-Pearce, spokesperson for Gov. Spencer Cox, told the Deseret News they are “awaiting more detail” about the visit. Joel Ferry, executive director of the Department of Natural Resources, said his office has not received any information, either. And Greg Todd, director of the Office of Energy Development, said all he knows is “what I have seen on KSL.”

After a pair of meetings with “federal groups” Wednesday morning, Todd told the Deseret News he was still in the dark: “The fed bunch has no more info than what we know ... that the president is coming.”

Even former Utah Senate Democratic Leader Scott Howell, who oversaw Biden’s 2020 campaign in Utah, said on Tuesday that the White House has “been very tight-lipped,” before noting such posturing is “usual” for these kinds of visits.

The Inflation Reduction Act authorized $369 billion in spending on climate change and clean energy projects, regarded to be the largest investment in green energy initiatives in U.S. history. The White House has pointed to the bill’s provisions as ways to achieve cleaner air, lower energy costs for households, and tax credits for energy-conscious small businesses and individuals. The bill also included a controversial funding increase for the IRS.

All six members of Utah’s congressional delegation voted against the bill, saying it was reckless spending and would do little to decrease inflation.

In the build-up to the president’s visit, the Biden administration has also touted another of its legislative wins: the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced $599,000 in grant money to ensure clean drinking water in Utah schools and childcare facilities. The grant comes from a provision, negotiated by Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., that allows the EPA to allocate $15 billion to remove lead from drinking water.

Biden announced his reelection bid in April, and his only challenger to outpace him in fundraising — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — visited Utah for a fundraising event last month.

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Biden has recently hosted events of his own in San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

Though Utah has not elected a Democratic presidential candidate in nearly 60 years, Biden’s performance in the state in 2020 was the best for a Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

The visit to Utah will be Biden’s first since 2019, when the then-presidential candidate stopped in Park City for a campaign fundraising event. In 2018, Biden lectured at the University of Utah, and in 2016, while serving as the vice president, he participated in a roundtable discussion at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Every U.S. president since Herbert Hoover has visited Utah during their presidencies.

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