When we celebrated Pioneer Day on July 24, I was pleased to hear commentators speak about the varied pioneers in our state: Native Americans who first settled in Utah; Chinese who came to work on the railroad; Greeks who came to man the mines; and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who came to establish their sanctuary.

The spirit of those pioneers helped make Utah the successful state it is today.

I thought of the hardships and challenges these pioneers faced. Then I reflected on our challenges today and jumped to a time when Utah will be powered with clean energy and enjoy clean air and a stable climate. Who are today’s pioneers spurring this transition?

I thought of many people, including Jon Huntsman Jr., who as governor convened the influential Blue Ribbon Advisory Council on Climate Change; Sarah Wright, who founded Utah Clean Energy and helped pave the way to use of wind, solar and geothermal energy; Natalie Gochnour, director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute that created a Utah roadmap to clean energy; and Bill Barron, who founded Citizens’ Climate Lobby in Utah and ran for Congress three times as a single-issue climate candidate.

Let’s celebrate our pioneers, past and present. Their spirit will help future Utahns enjoy a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable common home.

David Folland, Sandy