This week, the University of Utah and The Salt Lake Tribune hailed the naming of the new proton therapy center at Huntsman Cancer Institute after Orrin Hatch.
It appears that this honor is given to Hatch because he helped raise $100 million for the cancer center. What was never mentioned in these announcements is the many deaths Hatch caused due to his decades of pro-cancer legislation.
Hatch received a score of 0 percent from the League of Conservation voters for his record last year. The average score for a senator is 45 percent. In 2018, Hatch backed legislation that allowed more dangerous methane gas escapes from oil and gas drilling that will contribute to climate change and poor air quality in eastern Utah. In 2018, he supported the appointment of Scott Pruitt as director of the EPA. Pruitt has sued the EPA over a dozen times and denies climate change. He is an enemy of clean air and water. Hatch supports him. Hatch opposed public disclosure of payments to governments in exchange for oil and gas production. These are just a few of the anti-health measures supported by Hatch last year alone.
It is my contention that no Utahn in the public sector has created more cancer deaths than Orrin Hatch. It is the ultimate irony that the Huntsman family would put his name on a center to help atone for the deaths that he has caused and will cause.
My advice to your readers? To those who care about breathing clean air in the Wasatch Front, to those who care about breast cancer, to those who wish to prevent cancer in our local families — all of you send your contributions to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Do not support the Huntsman Institute of Cancer due to this grave hypocrisy of health justice.
Mark Thomas, Holladay