It was disappointing to see Gov. Gary Herbert’s spokesperson, Ally Isom, refer to the environmental group HEAL Utah as “an extreme special interest group” after HEAL disagreed with Herbert’s appointment of Cody Stewart as his energy adviser (“Utah governor appoints former oil lobbyist as energy adviser,” Tribune, May 8).
Extreme is an interesting word to use to describe a group founded to fight for the proper incineration of deadly nerve agents, that fights to protect Utahns from radioactive waste and works to elevate the discussion of a healthy environment.
The governor’s office has every right to be partisan, but that comes with the obligation of civility and the understanding that the governor represents all Utahns — not just those of his political party or views.
Rather than arguing that Utah’s 10-year energy plan will be determined by the free market, suggesting that our air quality will be improved through the volunteerism of the same corporations who have an obligation to shareholders to maximize profits, and dismissing HEAL as “extremist,” the governor should offer HEAL — a widely respected voice that represents the views of a significant population — a substantive voice at the table.
Josh Kanter Founder, Alliance for a Better UTAH