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Love Talks Clean Environment, Climate Solutions

Judy Fahys
The Salt Lake Tribune
U.S. Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, addressed the Utah Outdoor Recreation Summit, Northern Conference, on Thursday.

U.S. Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, spoke Thursday about the importance of protecting the environment. One of only a few high-profile Republicans who’s addressed climate change, the 4th District Congresswoman talked about her family’s love of camping and enjoying Utah natural amenities at the Snowbird Resort, where around for 300 people gathered at the Outdoor Recreation Summit for northern Utah.

“I think that we all have a part to play in making sure that we are good stewards of the land that we live in and that we can do something,” said Love, whose remarks were interrupted by clapping. “And that it’s our responsibility to do everything we can to make sure that our children are not just inheriting an economically viable country but an environmentally viable country.”

Love pointed out that she was listening to her constituents – and climate scientists. So far, she’s the only current member of Utah’s congressional delegation to say publicly that climate change is a problem and one of just a few congressional Republicans to do so.

“I take no shame in that,” she said, “and I hope that you’re okay with that also.”

The national Citizens Climate Lobby, which advocates a carbon fee-and-dividend approach to reducing the pollution that causes climate change, recognized Love with its Climate Leadership Awards in June. And this summer she voted against stripping climate language from the Pentagon spending bill.

“I applaud her leadership and willingness to step out, because it goes against the grain of what we have been hearing consistently from so many of our leaders for so long,” said former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, who also attended the summit and continues to work on local solutions to global warming even though he’s not in public office anymore.

Roughly 48 percent of Utahns are worried about global warming, according to polling done for the Yale Climate Opinion Maps.

Judy Fahys has reported in Utah for two decades, covering politics, government and business before taking on environmental issues. She loves covering Utah, where petroleum-pipeline spills, the nation’s radioactive legacy and other types of pollution provide endless fodder for stories. Previously, she worked for the Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, and reported on the nation’s capital for States News Service and the Scripps League newspaper chain. She is a longtime member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She also spent an academic year as a research fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys being out in the environment, especially hiking, gardening and watercolor painting.
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