Monday, January 27, 2014

So who rallied on Saturday and what do they want?

Most have heard of the ~4,000 person rally for clean air on Saturday at the capitol in Salt Lake City. I showed up and was glad to see an upset Dick Nourse (of KSL fame) blasting away at the dirty air (and those that abet it's continued presence): "If you can see it, if you can taste the air, if it hurts when it goes down your throat, chances are that damn air is bad." Amen, Dick.

Mayor Ralph Becker spoke, who recently gave his State of the City address (which was focused on air quality) and said "we need state level authority to step in" and help clean up the problem. He also urged citizens to be civil when reaching out to the local representatives. Other politicians in attendance were state Sen. Jim Dabakis (D-Salt Lake City) and Rep. Patrice Arent (D-Salt Lake City). Hopefully people are sending these guys the support they need in a hostile local legislature.

Other groups present include Utah Moms for Clean Air, Athletes for Clean Air, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, CleanAirNow, and others.

Cherise Udell of Utah Moms for Clean Air read of a list of measures they're looking for from the legislature, including subsidies to make public transit more affordable, the expansion of mass transit routes, a 10-year moritorium on new freeway construction, and stricter limits on industrial pollution. Those singled out for scorn included Rio Tinto, ATK, Hill Air Force Base, Geneva Rock, and Stericycle (which has been in the news lately). (I'll have more on all these guys in the days to come.)

The plan they propose sounds sensible, and we'll go more into the details in the coming days.

Local coverage of the event: SL Tribune, Deseret News, and Standard Examiner.

The Legislature starts work today and will be at the capitol through March; if you're interested in helping to make a change, contact your local politician through these links (Senate or Representative).


  1. I'm excited to read this series. I have a few draft posts on this that I need to actually publish about this and get my new site started up.
    My biggest annoyance with researching this topic comes from the legislative side. Much hay was made a week or so ago with the creation of the Clean Air Caucus in the Utah Legislature, but no article I've seen from the Trib or DesNews has actually listed all the members of the caucus or their bills. If you come across that in your travels, let me know.

  2. Interesting--I'll have to look for news on this caucus. It appears that the Trib and Des News are running on skeleton crews these days, so perhaps we can help fill in the void. Looking forward to your posts (let me know where to find).