What, do they want to kill us with brown air to save us from that horrible government monster, the Environmental Protection Agency?
Gov. Gary Herbert and many other leaders here in Utah have been saying and doing the right things to get the citizenry to fight back against the nation’s deadliest air. Case in point, the “Clean Air Challenge” announced last week by Herbert and Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker. Herbert and Becker live here and appreciate the dangers of breathing fouled air. They’re in a position to help battle the pollution scourge, and they’re doing something about it.
But in Washington, Sen. Orrin Hatch, Rep. Rob Bishop and others are trying to stop the EPA from limiting pollution from cars, power plants and factories. That’s the very stuff that’s killing some Utahns slowly because they have no choice but to keep breathing it. Hatch, Bishop and their Republican allies are apoplectic that the Obama administration is trying to curb pollution and greenhouse gases. They say controls will wreck the economy and that global warming is a bogus problem. Some proposals would undercut the Clean Air Act.
Even if Hatch and Bishop are right that climate change isn’t real, or at least not a big problem, that leaves the obvious threat of air pollution to worsen, to kill people. The Republicans are working hard for their oil and big business donors while cynically couching the campaign to hamstring the EPA as a tea-partier-style blow against big government. They want to count coup against President Obama and those tiresome environmentalists.
I invite Bishop and Hatch to come back to Utah on the 20 or more “red” air quality days and get outside and breathe deeply with their constituents. They’re not doing anything to help us have clean air, so why shouldn’t they get a lung full too?