“It greatly exceeded our wildest expectations,” says Dr. Brian Moench of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, one of the organizers of the Clean Air, No Excuses Rally held on February 25, 2014 at the Utah State Capitol. According to Moench there were between four to five thousand people there, which was about ten times more than the organizers expected when they first started planning the event six weeks ago.
He credits the turnout to the long bout of inversion weather the valley has experienced. The other factor is the culmination of seven years of hard work by his organization and others getting the word out to educate the people about just how dangerous the air can be.
The purpose of the rally was to send a, “clear, strong message to the legislature.” The challenge now is to maintain the pressure on lawmakers. The goal is to make it very difficult for any legislator to vote to make the pollution worse and to not vote to make it better. The public sentiment is very clear – people want change. “The public will drag politicians behind them to make real change,” Moench says.
The rally was a huge success for the planners and they are optimistic that it will be a turning point leading to a cleaner and healthier Utah.