Utah Governor Gary Herbert is out of the country right now on a trade mission in Israel. But that didn’t stop environmentalists from holding an Earth Day rally right in front of the Governor’s Mansion on South Temple.
As traffic whizzed by on one of Salt Lake City’s busiest streets, demonstrators wrote their messages of protest on blue ribbons. They had to tie them to a volleyball net because they weren’t allowed to put them on the governor’s wrought-iron fence.
Cecily Price-Huish with the Davis County Community Coalition criticized the legislature for spending millions to study relocating the prison, while the oil refineries in North Salt Lake are planning expansions.
“Maybe they oughta consider moving the refineries in the interest of public health instead of moving our prison to benefit a few real estate developers," she told the small crowd gathered on the sidewalk.
Brian Moench with Utah Physicians for a Clean Environment criticized the governor’s voluntary program to reduce air pollution while making plans for a big new freeway.
“The governor," Moench told KUER, "while he’s asking people to drive less, we’re going to spend 700-million dollars to help them drive more.”
Governor Herbert did win praise from the group on one point – his recent decision not to sign an agreement with the state of Nevada dividing water rights in Snake Valley.