From: michael rasmussen
To: Scott Jenkins, mnoel,
Subject: A Letter of Encouragement for Tomorrow's Meeting
Date: Tue Jul 15 16:50:38 MDT 2014
Chairs Jenkins and Noel, Being fully aware that the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Committee meets tomorrow, and knowing that you are undoubtedly busy in preparation, I’ll keep my message of encouragement straight to the point. I’d like to whole-heartedly petition that as you meet tomorrow to consider ways to continue to improve Utah’s air-quality, that you and your committee show the bravery and foresight to recommend that Utah be able to legislate for Utah. Yes, supporting this move will likely allow Utah to enact standards that differ from the federally mandated minimum. But in what aspect of our state’s operations (and most importantly, our quality of life) has Utah allowed itself to be defined by any minimum standard of acceptability set not by Utahns, but by the federal government? I’ve never felt that Utah has ever settled for such an ignominious distinction, and refuse to believe that you, your fellow committee members, and Utahns as a whole, feel differently. In recent years Utah has worked hard to improve its air quality – those efforts (including those of your committee) are without question. But until Utah is allowed to truly set its own course, we will always face a “glass-ceiling” of sorts which will prevent our state from truly engaging and improving our beautiful – but at times challenging – environment and geography. Ultimately, my petition to you on this issue isn’t simply a matter of state pride or appreciation for the natural beauty in which we’re so blessed to live. Our air quality in Utah is an issue new parents such as myself sincerely consider when deciding where to raise their family. Having been born and raised in Utah, as well as completing my entire education here (including both of my university undergraduate and graduate degrees), I would love to have my children enjoy a similar experience in this beautiful state. However, just as I feel Utah needs to decide what’s best for Utah, a family needs to decide what’s best for themselves. My fear is that decision may very soon take my family to chase not figurative, but quite literal, blue skies elsewhere. Still, I have confidence that you, and others on your committee, are like me and refuse to be content living with a minimum standard of air (or any other) quality set by folks in Washington D.C. - please remember that as you meet tomorrow. Sincerely, Michael Rasmussen