Dear Governor Herbert...

Dear Governor Herbert, the Utah Legislature and the Utah Congressional Delegation,

Air quality is everyone’s concern. We believe that each of you want to play a positive role in improving air quality.  In addition to your public responsibility, you breathe this air, as does your family. We represent groups who are also interested in improving air quality: moms, students, doctors, engineers, farmers, senior citizens, faith communities and business leaders – all vocal advocates for the well-being of the general public and the economic health of the State. 

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Rather than assign blame for this pollution as industrial, commercial, or public, we encourage you to assess the entire spectrum of sources and causes. An attitude of “all of us,” not “some of us” being responsible for the air quality problems is central to enrolling all parties in the effort to return clean air to our valleys. We must also be careful to not allow reductions in one segment to be taken advantage of by another, which only keeps us in the same place. Nor can we throw up our hands and say ‘it’s the weather,” “it’s our valley,” or “it’s California and China’s emissions blowing our way.” Fact-based plans, not ideological approaches, will win the day when actual solutions are considered. Air pollution is created by specific pollutant releases into our atmosphere and the concentrations levels in the air should defy any political context. 

Actual solutions to our air pollution problem will require collaborative effort from all government entities, the public, the private sector including industry, and the technical community. We believe that elected city and county government leaders share our enthusiasm for major regulatory reform. Real estate, tourism, health care, and high tech industries also support aggressive action. And, as evidenced by the excellent report on the degraded air quality in the Uintah Basin, Utah’s technical and scientific expertise is top tier and eager to help. The table is set to effect major air quality improvement. However, State Government has not yet shown that they are enrolled in changes that would make a big difference in the quality of the air Utahns breathe. With public support for aggressive air clean-up action so high, you now have the unprecedented political capital to create an enduring air pollution solution legacy. 

We are willing partners who support bold approaches to solving Utah’s air quality problem. Please consider the recommendations provided in this report as a working document and the start of a productive collaboration for both near- and long-term action. 

We believe we can work together to reclaim what Brigham Young once called the single most valuable physical asset we have here in Utah – our clean air.

Respectfully yours,

Cherise Udell
President and Founder, Utah Moms for Clean Air