Utah leaders are not prioritizing one of our biggest threats to public health

Park City resident, David Bennett, had an excellent op-ed published in the Salt Lake Tribune on recent developments that demonstrate Utah’s disregard for environmental and public health. 

He starts his op-ed, “The state of Utah does not have a strong commitment to cleaning up the air. For example, the Senate recently rejected the governor’s nominee, Dr. Suzanne Harrison for the Air Quality Board and that was followed by the governor’ acquiescence to their decision.

Dr. Harrison is uniquely qualified based upon her former legislative experience and that she is a medical doctor and could have brought needed expertise to the board. This rejection, coupled with the absurd reasoning by the senators who voted against her — she voted against tax breaks for the oil refineries, wasn’t a “team” player, and that carbon dioxide is necessary for plants to grow is continued evidence that Utah government is not committed to clean air.”

Bennett also cites the push for the Uinta Basin Oil Railway and the Utah Inland Port. “Finally, the Utah Inland Port has not completed the needed health assessment. As more money is being spent on port infrastructure the health assessment is critical — no more funds should be spent until it is complete. We don’t have the level of non-fossil fuel burning vehicles required to improve air quality and simply adding more vehicles will only further pollute the air,” he writes.

His op-ed highlights many of the concerns UPHE raises. We need as many voices as possible to continue to express their frustration on every project that does not align with climate, environmental and public health goals. 

Find the full op-ed here.

Smog coats Salt Lake City. Photo by E P Kosmicki.