The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

June 2nd, 2017

Following Donald Trump’s decision to withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, Scientific American had this to say: “Today, a President who ran on the promise to “Make America great again” left America diminished, isolated in the world, distrusted by our closest friends and allies. Today the American government ignored the will of most of its own people, stepped off the world stage, and kicked the can of human-caused climate change down the road. Today our government ceded moral, ethical, economic, and political leadership to other, more enlightened countries.”

That is the bad news.

The good news is that the rest of the world is doubling down. With Trump making it very clear where his administration stands with regards to climate change means other nations, states and leaders must step up their game.

It took all of five minutes for that happen.

France, Germany and China along with California promptly showed the leadership needed to usher the world into a more secure and sustainable future.

Overnight, global power dynamics shifted, new players emerged, new alliances formed – and with or without Washington – there is a understanding that our fates are deeply intertwined. It is no longer us versus them. It is all of us together, as one human community.

The other good news?

Trump’s dismally short-sighted buffoonery yesterday has galvanized the climate movement and the citizens of planet earth in ways that were urgently needed. The tides are rising, the human spirit is strong, mother nature is resilient and our global community has become even more united – even if Washington D.C. has chosen to maroon itself on a diplomatic island along with Syria and Nicaragua.

This is who we are, this is the future. Trump can throw in a monkey wrench, but he can’t stop it.

Without or without America’s leadership, France’s new president said it best: “Make Our Planet Great Again!”

And we will.

To Governor Herbert: VETO Pro-Pollution and Hyper-Partisan Bills

February 27th, 2017

Groups call on Governor Herbert to veto HB 11 and HB 65

(February 27, 2017 – Salt Lake City, UT) – Clean air advocates called on Governor Herbert today to veto HB 11 and HB 65 that have passed the Utah State Legislature at a press conference held at the Utah State Capitol. HEAL Utah, Utah Moms for Clean Air and Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE) expressed their strong concern over the implications of these bills on our environment, and especially air quality.

HB 11 on State Boards and Commission Amendments sponsored by Rep. Norman Thurston and Sen. Margaret Dayton removes the political diversity requirement for 29 boards and commissions including the Air Quality Board, the Water Quality Board and the Public Service Commission.

“The boards that make critical decisions about health, the environment and utilities must fully represent all Utahns,” says Michael Shea, HEAL’s senior policy associate. “We urge Gov. Herbert to veto this bill to ensure that we aren’t allowing these key bodies to become partisan tools of a single party.”

HB 65 Air Conservation Act Amendments sponsored by Rep. Mike Schultz and Sen. Stuart Adams requires the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) to allow the burning of solid fuel to cook food for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

“The amendment proposed by HB 65 is so broad that it will prevent the DAQ from regulating solid fuel devices that cook food in the future especially when air quality is bad,” says Denni Cawley, Executive Director for Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment. “More and more businesses and individuals are going with the fad of wood-smoked food. Unfortunately, they do not realize the significant health impacts of wood smoke which is carcinogenic, contains dangerous chemicals and affects those in the immediate vicinity to a greater extent.”

“Utah Moms for Clean Air is disappointed that the Utah Legislature is yet again passing legislation that is pro-pollution,” says their founder, Cherise Udell. “HB 65 Air Conservation Act Amendments is an oxymoron. There is nothing in this bill that “conserves” air quality. In fact, this bill is quite the opposite – it limits the DAQ from actually doing their job to implement the best clean air policies that protect Utah families. Let’s be clear HB 65 is a pro-pollution bill. Period. Our children depend on the grown-ups in the room – especially our elected officials who have taken an oath to protect the citizens of Utah – to support legislation that is life-giving and not life-taking.”


February 1st, 2017

Air should be life-giving and not life-taking or life-diminishing, but this week it is. While we fight for cleaner air year-round here are some steps you can take to protect your families and move us faster towards a clean air Utah:

Do breathe carefully (preferably indoors with an air filter or outside with a mask). Whatever you do, DO NOT CHEW the air.

Do Load-up on Vitamin C and Omega-3’s as well as antioxidant rich foods. Avoid foods that cause inflammation such as greasy food & refined sugar.

Do carpool, trip-chain and avoid as many cold engine starts as possible (this initial pollution burst is the most intense pollution your car will make when in use).

Do call Governor Herbert 801-538-1000/800-705-2464) and your legislators ( and tell them it is time to tax air pollution in Utah (or as Utah Moms for Clean Air suggested apply an AIRSHED USER FEE on all activities/products that pollute so that the free market will automatically discourage pollution-making by all). This will clean-up our air – and fast.

Do call Governor Herbert and your legislators and tell them it is time to relocate pollution-spewing refineries away from population centers.

Do put Governor Herbert’s number/email in your cellphone contacts.

Do put your legislator’s number/email in your phone contacts.

Do call them frequently and ask why it is okay for 1000 to 2000 Utahns to die prematurely every year (think strokes, heart attacks, SIDS, lung disease etc) because our leaders will not lead in cleaning-up Utah’s air (citizens absolutely cannot do it alone). Share your own personal stories on how the air affects you and your family.

Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, such as the Deseret News (

Take a deep breathe (near an air filter, sorry to say, or up in the mountains) and make a cup of Breathe Easy Tea (from Traditonal Medicinal Tea made with organic licorice root) and know that because of the work you have done, things will change.


January 17th, 2017

Choking on the nasty air? Join hundreds of other concerned citizens at Saturday’s CLEAN AIR, NO EXCUSES rally!
The only thing between us and clean air are political will and courage. Many of our legislators already get it, such as Patrice Arent, Joel K. Briscoe, Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Angela Romero & Brian King, but many others received D’s and F’s on their Clean Air Report Cards.

Use your lungs and make your voice heard that we need CLEAN AIR NOW! NO EXCUSES.

UTA just announced that they will provide special bus service on Sat from downtown to the rally and back.

So, get your clean air mojo on and join us Saturday, Jan 21st from 1-2pm.

Revised Air Quality Recess Guidelines for Utah Schools a Small Victory

December 14th, 2016

Utah Moms for Clean Air was instrumental in preparing and passing the first air quality guidelines for schools in Utah, and even though the first issue of these guidelines was way softer than we would have liked, we were happy for the victory of having any guidelines at all. Now after much pressure from Dr. Brian Moench with Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, the guidelines have been revised and made stricter.

With the new political landscape we are facing in uber pro-fossil fuel Trumpworld, most, if not all, gains in improving air quality are going to be accomplished at the local level.

These guidelines, of course, do not improve our air quality, but they do protect our children on a day-to-day basis. Their little lungs are growing now and they need protection NOW.

That said, how lame is it that we grown-ups cannot get our act together enough to clean-up our dirty air (a goal that is completely achievable) so that our children can go outside and play safely every day in Utah?

To read more about the guidelines click here.

COP22, Post-Election Reality Check and Utah Moms for Clean Air

November 18th, 2016

While the U.S. election could have derailed fragile international climate agreements, what happened at the recent climate summit in Marrakech (COP22) has given hope that global action on climate change will not be deterred by isolated politicians. Trump or no Trump, the world is moving forward.

While official COP22 negotiations made some progress in Marrakesh, it was the grassroots social movements from all corners of the globe that came together to keep pushing forward at a time when resolve is essential. The lessons of Marrakech are clear: Don’t look to bureaucrats or climate-denying Presidents to take the lead on global climate action. Look to the people in the streets and in communities around the world. These are the people-powered movements resisting fossil fuels and building a renewable energy future, and this is the path to victory.

Those people are us. Those communities are us.

Thus it is essential that Utah Moms for Clean Air regroup and re-strategize with the context of this new political landscape. All gains to be made with our air pollution and climate will likely be made at the local level with school boards, health departments, homegrown businesses and city councils. On the national level action will be needed to protect the gains that have already been made.

Utah Moms for Clean Air is thus looking for a few additional steering committee members and board members with passion, energy and commitment. Additionally, we will soon be launching a search for a new Executive Director or Assistant Director as well as a web designer (for complete overhaul of our website) and a development director.

We have entered a new era and all hands on deck are needed! Please consider donating your time, your skills, and/or funds to help us do our best work as it is needed now more than ever!

We have entered a new era and all hands on deck are needed! Please consider donating your time, your skills, and/or funds to help us do our best work as it is needed now more than ever! If you have questions or want to get more involved, please FB message me.

Clean Air and Healthy Climate are birthrights that must be protected, if they are to be enjoyed for generations to come!

With warm regards,
Cherise Udell
Founder, Utah Moms for Clean Air (a 501c3)

For more information on COP22:
Here are the remarks from Secretary of State, John Kerry at COP22.
The White House released a report: The U.S. Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization.
Tina Johnson with the US Climate Action Network (our partner) also made remarks: “This is not a choice, this is a moral imperative.”

Utah Moms For Clean Air partners with Utah Valley Earth Forum

November 3rd, 2016

Utah Moms For Clean Air worked with Utah Valley Earth Forum to create several billboards urging citizens to be Clean-Air/Clean-Energy voters this election. With help from YESCO, these signs are being displayed in different locations around Salt Lake City! Thank you, YESCO!

We also created a Voters’ Guide which can be found here. It is our hope that people can look beyond the partisan politics and ask our elected officials and candidates hard questions about one of the most pressing health concerns along the Wasatch Front – air pollution!

There’s nothing partisan about breathing! Whether you breathe liberal air or conservative air – it always should be clean air!

Utah Moms for Clean Air Wins 2016 Children’s Champion Award

October 4th, 2016

Thank you Voices for Utah Children for choosing Utah Moms for Clean Air as the recipient of their 2016 Children’s Champion Award! Ingrid Karoline Griffee, Carrie Butler and Cherise Udell were honored to accept the award for our advocacy on behalf of Utah children.

Below is their write-up of Utah Moms for Clean Air:

Utah Moms for Clean Air members describe themselves as “uncompromising defenders of our children’s health.” Their intent is simple — to ensure that their children, whose lives are entrusted to them, have a healthy environment in which to grow and flourish. Adriane Andersen wrote in Catalyst Magazine, “UMFCA members pride themselves in their unique approach to engaging in political battle. With a baby on a hip and the occasional baked good in hand, these moms favor an attack strategy that features good manners, sit-down conversations, and actively engaging those they’re trying to win over… Talk about a breath of fresh air.” Utah Moms for Clean Air has been advocating for better air quality in Utah since 2007. In December of 2015, UMFCA took their calls for better air quality to the international stage. They sent a delegation, complete with youth ambassadors, to attend the 21st Conference of the Parties — the historic United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change — in Paris, France.

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