Greetings! There is plenty to update you about – from attacks on the EPA, to HEAL summer internships, to a final push to call Gov. Herbert to veto a bad air bill – but first, allow me to make a brief plea.
It’s just one week until the annual Love Utah, Give Utah celebration! This is the statewide day of giving during which Utahns can donate to their favorite charities.
It’s also a friendly competition in which groups like HEAL are eligible to win prizes awarded to the nonprofits that recieve the highest number of donations.
And because we have such a dedicated base of supporters — that means you! — we’ve done very well in the competition in previous years. In fact, we’ve consistently finished in the top three and earned up to $10,000 in additional prizes, no small boon for HEAL! To see how we’re doing, please join us to watch the leaderboards, alongside our nonprofits friends, on March 30 for our Love, Protect Utah party at Fisher Brewing.
So, you will get another email or two about this between now and Thursday, but Love Utah, Give Utah has started already: if you’d like to support HEAL and help us win even more funding, please click here to donate now. A gift of just $10 counts toward the competition! And we won’t turn down bigger gifts either. Thanks!
Disgust with DC
Like us, I’m sure, you’re watching events out of Washington, DC with a mix of dread, outrage and befuddlement. It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to reacting to the latest attack on public health and the environment from the President and EPA Administrator Pruitt, but certainly the proposal to slash the agency’s budget by 30% is very worrisome.
If you’d like to read more about why we think that’s a problem for Utah, and specifically a problem for air quality, please read the op-ed which I wrote in the Salt Lake Tribune a few weeks ago, “If Trump Hobbles the EPA, Utahns Lungs Will Pay the Price.” Here’s an excerpt:
Utah’s representatives in Congress often put forth rhetoric about “EPA overreach” and the need for “greater local control.” Those words might help them get elected, but if they don’t stand up for the agency’s staff and budget in the months to come, it’s the health of Utah’s families and our children who will pay the price.
We shared an action alert about this issue about a month ago, but if you didn’t have a chance to let your US Senators and Representative know that you want them to protect the EPA’s budget, please click here.
Become a HEAL Intern!
We are currently seeking interns for the summer of 2017! This year, we have created two separate internships. The first will help us with our outreach and education efforts, including tabling at fun summer events. The second will work with our policy staff on research and writing, supporting HEAL’s principle campaigns. So please forward this email or share the links with anyone who might be interested in a summer 2017 internship with HEAL Utah! Applications due April 10.
#Trypod: The HEAL Utah Podcast!
Incredibly, we have recorded 73 episodes of the HEAL Utah podcast since 2015. Many of you are listeners, which is gratifying. If you do listen to the podcast, we’d love to urge you to go to iTunes and rate and review the podcast, which will help us bring us a bigger audience. If you’re not listening, here’s a link to the page on our Website which has all 73 episodes. If you want to listen any on your computer or phone, just click on each episode title to do so.
Also, there’s information on that page on how to subscribe so that each new episode automatically appears on your phone or other listening device. Do check it out! It’s a great way to deepen your knowledge of HEAL and environmental issues in Utah. And you get to hear the sound of my voice every week, which is its own precious gift. I’m joking! (Or am I?)
Call for Veto
So, as many of you already know, Gov. Gary Herbert announced yesterday that he would sign one controversial bill from this past legislative session, to lower the threshold at which someone can be arrested for drunk driving.
He now just has a few more days to decide on the remaining bills and that includes HB65, the bill which could make it much easier for Utahns to burn wood even on the worst air days. So, the clock is ticking! And if you’ve not had a chance to call Governor Herbert and ask him to veto HB 65, now is your chance! Just call 801-538-1000 during business hours and tell whoever answers you’d like him to veto HB65. It literally takes less than a minute. Thank you! And here’s a few links to some recent news coverage about our efforts to get this bill vetoed, in the Salt Lake Tribune in the Deseret News and on Fox 13.
OK, that’s enough for now! Stay tuned for more updates soon on our efforts to defend rooftop solar and plans for pushing for bolder clean air policies.
And please consider donating to HEAL via Love Utah, Give Utah!
HEAL Utah Executive Director