(EnviroNews Utah) – Salt Lake City – Rep. Patrice Arent of District 36 took to the podium to address a crowd of approximately 5,000 on Saturday in what would play out as the largest environmental rally/protest in Utah State history. Her message — “Our voices must not stop today!”.
The Clean Air, No Excuses Rally went down on Jan. 25, 2014 at the State Capitol, and was organized by the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment in concert with, Utah Moms for Clean Air, HEAL Utah, the Sierra Club, and the Facebook groups Utah CleanAir, Communities for Clean Air, and Utah Clean Air Now.
One of a handful of politicians gathered to stand in solidarity with those who want to clean up Utah’s airshed, Arent had some tough questions for the crowd and even tougher demands for her colleagues on the hill.
“We must act now,” says Arent. “It is time for the legislature THIS YEAR to take meaningful action.”
Arent questioned how many elderly would be confined to the indoors, how many children would miss recess, and what would be the damage to tourism and other businesses.
Arent is part of the bipartisan Clean Air Caucus that is set to introduce 16 clean air bills to the legislature.
“We are making progress,’ says Arent.
The bills to be run address such issues as free transit on red air days, better funding for the DAQ, and cleaner gas and vehicles. According to the congressional representative from Utah’s District 36, the bills will cost less than future health care expenses and losses of business if bad air continues to menace the Wasatch Front.
People were encouraged repeatedly at the rally to call their legislators in an effort to get these bills to pass.
“We must keep the pressure up,” says Arent.
Number for Governor Gary Herbert at 1-801-538-1000 and find your legislators at http://le.utah.gov/GIS/findDistrict.jsp