Excerpt, more at link:
No wonder the Environmental Protection Agency recently ranked Salt Lake City, UT as amongst the worst U.S. metropolitan areas for air pollution, as reported by AI‘s T. Steelman on March 8th. Yep, the Bee Hive State’s capitol city’s air quality ranking is way down there with Los Angeles, CA. To make things worse, Salt Lake City’s neighbors — Logan, Provo, and Brigham City respectively — took the top three spots on the EPA’s worst air quality list back in January, according to Kimball Benion’s article in the Salt Lake City Tribune.
It didn’t take long for parents to react with outrage, even in a red state like Utah. Colby Poulson, the father of a kindergartner at Eagle Bay Elementary School in Farmington, UT wrote in March 16th letter to the Salt Lake City Tribune:
Why is the state backing an “Earth Day” contest that celebrates fossil fuels, while completely ignoring the adverse effects that their use and extraction can too often have on our air quality, water quality, public lands and the other organisms we share the world with? Shouldn’t Earth Day be about championing things that can help reverse the negative impact of our dependence on fossil fuels?
Frankly, I’m disgusted that the state is backing propaganda like this in our schools.
Meanwhile, Utah Moms for Clean Air responded by launching a “Love Your Mother” counter-poster contest, with the counter-theme, “Explore the Economic, Environmental and Health Costs of Fossil Fuels.” Their contest also offers cash prizes, and is open to elementary school students, grades K-6, throughout the state of Utah. Their deadline is April 17th. For further instructions, visit the Utah Moms for Clean Air web site’s main page and scroll down. Unfortunately, their cash prizes aren’t quite as lavish as those offered by state fossil fuel interests.
Jim Springer, public information officer for the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, defended the poster contest to Associated Press reporter Annie Knox, in the Deseret News:
“The simple fact is that our modern society doesn’t exist without these things. As much as some people may dislike fossil fuels, they’re here to stay for quite some time to come.”