Environmental & smart-growth LeaderShip
Robert DeBirk’s Utah Environmentalist Oral History Project, where he interviewed Rocky about the roots of his committed environmentalism and his views and leadership on climate protection, wilderness conservation, clean energy, urban planning, sprawl development, highways and mass transit, and air quality.
"Mayor Anderson says, '. . . We are thrilled that our leadership, particularly in combating global climate change, was acknowledged. . . This work is about better public health, a better quality of life, and a more sustainable future for all.' "
"Many cities are also encouraging . . . hybrids and other high-efficiency vehicles by offering a variety of incentives. In Salt Lake City, says Mayor Rocky Anderson, 'the transportation department will put a decal in your rear window, and you can park at any city meters without ever having to pay.' "
"Throughout the world, human beings are already suffering, or will soon be suffering, from the results of human-caused climate chaos." Read this article about the need to view the climate crisis as a major human rights issue: Rocky Anderson and Patrick Thronson, 'Achieving Climate Protection: Fostering an Essential Focus on Human Rights and Human Impacts,' The Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics and Public Policy
Rocky calls upon young people at Power Shift conference to become power-shifting bulldogs demanding climate protection.
"Today we face the greatest threat ever in human history to the inhabitants of Earth. The spread of misinformation, the refusal to act in the face of overwhelming proof of a climate crisis, and the profiteering in the short-term at the expense of global catastrophe during the lives of our children and grandchildren, equates to an historic moral abdication leading to human tragedies and species extinctions of unprecedented scope." - Rocky Anderson
"Since his election in 1999, he’s implemented a comprehensive plan to green the city and meet Kyoto emissions targets (actually, SLC has already far exceeded the targets, six years ahead of schedule). He’s pushed the development of bus and light-rail public transit, zoned for dense, multi-use development, created miles of new bike paths, and vastly improved pedestrian and bike safety."
Local eNVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
SALT LAKE CITY GREEN PRESENTED BY: SALT LAKE CITY MAYOR ROSS C. “ROCKY” ANDERSON ENSURING A SUBSTAINABLE Community
"When considering the issue of justice, we must also keep in mind that the earliest and most severe effects of catastrophic climate change will be sustained mostly by particularly vulnerable people in many parts of the world." - Rocky Anderson, Presentation at Inclusion Summit, Camp Wapati, Tooele, Utah July 9, 2009
". . .Redford and his co-hosts—Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. . .organized the all-expenses-paid gathering. . .'The whole idea was to bring leaders together in a magical place where the monumental implications of climate change and a passion for solutions could really take hold,' Anderson told Muckraker."
"One of the most significant greenhouse gas reductions has come through the capture of methane at our landfill and wastewater treatment plant. We've installed a co-regeneration facility there which is fueled by the captured methane providing about half of the site's electricity. All of these programs save in excess of 16,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year."
Through the program Salt Lake City Green, which was organized in 2001, Anderson encourages residents to make daily life changes through conservation, energy efficiency and the utilization of clean and renewable sources of fuel and energy.
". . . Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon joined Kennecott Land Co., Rocky Mountain Power and Utah Clean Energy in announcing the Solar Salt Lake project. The Energy Department has promised $200,000 in funding to the city and another $250,000 in technical assistance to help participants identify barriers to the use of solar energy and, later, to develop policies and programs to overcome those barriers."
"Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson welcomed the move as an example of corporate responsiveness to a community concern. 'As small of an issue as stray shopping carts may seem, it really impacts the look and feel of many of our neighborhoods and poses significant risks for children who might play with the carts,' said Anderson."
Step It Up - Global Warming awareness rally in Salt Lake City, Utah April 14, 2007. Mayor Rocky Anderson was the key speaker with Los Lobos performing.
"[G]rass-roots business practices and the vision and activism of Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson and his staff have given the city a leg up in every area of conservation—from wind power purchasing to designating 45 miles of bike lanes."
"Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson calls bottled water 'the greatest marketing scam of all time.' He wants his city's employees to refrain from buying bottled water and fill up reusable bottles with tap water instead."
"This briefing featured climate change experts, local academics, and the former mayor of Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson. All the speakers took a strong public stand against a resolution adopted by the Utah House of Representatives earlier this month that rejected scientific evidence of global warming, criticized federal efforts to deal with it, and called for the state to abstain from regional collaboration to reduce carbon emissions."
"Salt Lake City analyzed its environmental habits and reduced greenhouse gases and energy consumption by changing light bulbs and buying wind power, among other measures. It got 36 businesses to do the same, through the e2 - environmentally and economically sustainable - business program."
" 'I not only want to focus on the science of the climate change and future consequences but finding solutions' said Anderson' That is what I think is most important.' "
"Anderson often decries the fact that air pollution sometimes turns the Salt Lake Valley into an unsafe place for outdoor exercise. This week he was clearly pleased with his long-planned purchase of a natural-gas-powered car, as well as the city's plan to add 37 AFVs to its fleet, thanks to a $175,000 Department of Energy grant. The street-sweepers, airport pickup trucks and other utility vehicles will beef up the AFV stock in the valley; Jordan School District buses, Flower Patch delivery vans, 650 state vehicles and 800 Questar trucks run on natural gas."
"Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson was involved in fund-raising efforts so the event could be held without city money being used. Anderson spoke to the crowd Saturday evening, leading chants for Congress to 'step it up.' 'In the long term, for our future, for our children, for their children, our Congress, our president must step it up,' Anderson said. 'That's going to be the message to Congress. We need to lead the world.'"
"They're everywhere and out of control. Carrying children away at high speeds, hurtling into the Jordan River, lowering property values, lurking in ditches, disgusting Mayor Rocky Anderson."
Rocky played guitar with young rock 'n' rollers and changed the lyrics of several old rock songs to raise awareness about the climate crisis. "Baby Please Don't Go" became "Gotta Stop the Coal". Step It Up was a community organizing and advocacy event, urging the Utah Legislature and the US Congress to "step it up" in protecting our climate.
"No care, no water, no mowing. That’s what Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson wanted when he killed his lawn two years ago and hired a crew to revamp his yard."
"[O]n the eve of the Salt Lake Winter Olympics in 2002, Anderson announced that his city government would meet Kyoto’s goals by 2012 — cutting greenhouse gases by 21% from 2001 levels."
"The tree adds more than Christmas spirit to City Hall. It also illustrates the latest example of Anderson's internationally recognized environmental initiatives, among which include urging municipalities to switch their traffic lights to LED light technology that uses less energy, lasts longer and costs less in the long run."
"Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson officially launched his "e2 Business" initiative at a news conference at the cafe. The program, which stands for environmentally and economically sustainable business, encourages the city's businesses to take measures to conserve energy, recycle and reduce waste.
E2 Business will, according to Anderson, showcase environmentally minded businesses, promote further environmentally sound activities throughout the community, motivate businesses to take action and demonstrate how environmentally conscious actions can have practical benefits."
Anderson reviewed various programs he initiated in Salt Lake City to reduce energy consumption, save money and protect the environment. Those steps include the city's recycling efforts, its shift to low-emission vehicles, and the TRAX light-rail system.
" 'As we incorporate (solar energy) more, as we get good policy in place, it's going to be less expensive, it's going to more environmentally beneficial and we're going to get away from the reckless burning of coal and our dirty, dangerous coal-burning power plants,' Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson said."
"Preserving what we have also means taking care of our air and water. Air quality in our region is notoriously bad. The recently declared red air day warnings are ample evidence of the problem, which is caused primarily by emissions from motor vehicles. In order to improve our air quality, we will continue to right-size our city fleet and convert it to alternative fuel vehicles. Over the past five years, we have eliminated 36 SUVs from the City fleet, six in the last year. Also in the last year, we purchased three hybrid electric/gas vehicles. Presently, we have 89 natural gas vehicles in the city s fleet, including 75 at the Airport. As fleet vehicles need to be replaced, we will continue to replace them with hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles until these energy-efficient vehicles make up our entire fleet." - Rocky Anderson
SMART GROWTH DEVELOPMENT & SUSTAINABILITY
"Anderson's first 18 months in office have been a series of pitched battles with the state's conservative establishment. He's taken on religious discrimination, oppressive liquor laws, urban sprawl and racial and sexual inequality."
"Developers of the Grand Salt Lake Mall are wondering whether fighting Mayor Rocky Anderson tooth and nail all the way is worth it and are considering abandoning the development."
"Join Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson's 'environmentally and economically sustainable' business brigade and you get a certificate suitable for framing, praise in print and cyberspace — and a warm fuzzy feeling inside. And consider this, adds Joel LaSalle: You will save money and grow your customer base."
"This is about far more than just having another place to shop. It is about our commitment to the revitalization of our downtown. It is about long-term growth planning. It is about fairness to our existing, locally-owned businesses. It is about the prospect of bringing conveniently located retail outlets to west-side neighborhoods, rather than locating a mega-mall far from any residential areas. It is about making our communities people-friendly, rather than making the polluting automobile the focus of our planning – and of our daily lives. And it is about defining for ourselves and our visitors who we are and what kind of a community we are building." - Rocky Anderson
"Rocky Anderson, the former mayor of Salt Lake City, worked with Goldsmith to encourage open-air, pedestrian-friendly development downtown and vehemently opposed the 'failed paradigm' of enclosed malls."
"Hidden Hollow not only has a rich cultural history, but also has significant ecological value. This small 3 acre natural area has a variety of tree groves, a wetlands area, and a riparian forest. In May of 2000, Mayor Rocky Anderson granted a conservation easement to Utah Open Lands Conservation Association to preserve Hidden Hollow Nature Area as open space for future generations."
" 'It’s the feeling on the part of a lot of mayors that some of that [transit-tax money], rather than going to 1-15, ought to go to our local communities to fix our own roads,' Anderson said. 'We're trying to figure out a way to protect the interests of local communities.' "
"Anderson said in a statement: 'After careful consideration and numerous meetings with the community, our administration has submitted what we believe to be the best, most far-sighted and community-oriented plan for the airport light-rail line.'
Spokesman Patrick Thronson said Anderson considered the concerns of residents when deciding which route he preferred for the TRAX line. During the past few months, residents of Salt Lake City's west side have actively protested a proposal to run the line down 600 West, saying it would decrease walkability, increase crime and hurt views through their neighborhood."
"What a difference a year — a new Salt Lake City mayor and an internationally prominent architect makes. . . . 'We're going to design this in such a way that it will be a wonderful gathering place for concerts, plays, personal reading and family picnics, 'Anderson says. 'Everybody coming to Salt Lake City will visit this block.' "
"Rocky Anderson, Mayor Salt Lake City: 'We have tried to negotiate with North Salt Lake, but unfortunately, the majority of North Salt Lake's elected officials don't seem to recognize the beauty and non-monetary value of this land beyond the dollar signs.' "
"There is nothing more important to our quality of life than the quality of air we breathe."
"Introduced January 5, 2011, the 'Free Industry Act' would amend the Clean Air Act to exclude greenhouse gases from being subject to the Act. This amendment would strip the EPA of its power to regulate greenhouse gases, which would be a huge set-back for addressing the climate crisis."
Rocky urges grass-roots advocacy to stop Congress from eliminating EPA’s power to regulate the emission of greenhouse gases.
"Salt Lake City was selected as just one of 13 cities in the United States to receive the grant, which goes hand in hand with Solar Salt Lake, a project intended to scatter solar panels throughout the valley. Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson says, 'You don't find people dying mining solar power. You don't see local health consequences. You're not factoring those into your cost.' "
"The mayor said Monday he has urged Gov.-elect Jon Huntsman Jr., Salt Lake County Mayor-elect Peter Corroon and University of Utah President Michael Young to join his efforts to not only prevent global warming, but improve air quality. It was a point Anderson hammered home Monday as he ate breakfast with Young at The Point restaurant at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, high on Salt Lake City's east bench. Instead of breathtaking views as promised by the restaurant's Web site, the two men got an eyeful of smog."
"The World Leadership Award was presented to Anderson, on behalf of Salt Lake City. . .for his environmental program, Salt Lake City Green, which incorporates initiatives on alternative transportation, zero-waste, recycling, climate protection, e2 business promotion, high performance buildings, open space, urban forest and smart growth."
"Air quality is Salt Lake City's biggest problem, former Mayor Rocky Anderson said at Kennecott's refinery, which was churning out 300-pound plates of pure copper. 'It takes industry to act,' said Anderson, who applauded Kennecott's parent company, Rio Tinto, for acknowledging climate change and taking steps to reduce greenhouse gases. 'I don't think they've gotten anywhere near the credit they deserve,' Anderson said."
"Kennecott Copper announced a new plan, that will dramatically lower the company's air pollution. Because Kennecott is such a large company, the change may have a noticeable impact on overall air quality in the Salt Lake Valley. Former Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson — current executive director of High Road for Human Rights — praised Kennecott and its parent company Rio Tinto for taking seriously the severe threat to the climate from greenhouse gases."
SALT LAKE CITY GREEN - ENSURING A SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY PRESENTED BY: SALT LAKE CITY MAYOR ROSS C "ROCKY" ANDERSON
"Rocky Anderson stated, 'In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.' - From the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy"
" 'On beautiful, smog-free days, Salt Lake City is stunning,' Anderson said. Better air quality does more than create a more scenic environment; it improves public health. Mayor Anderson said more than 1 million people die every year from problems caused by air pollution."
"The 12 states attempting to implement the standard under the Clean Cars Program collectively represent 40 percent of the United States automobile market. The EPA should allow these states to improve sustainability, air quality and reduce global warming pollution within their borders, which will have a salutary effect on fuel efficiency standards nationwide and help our nation meet the tremendous challenges posed by global warming. - Rocky Anderson
"Rocky Anderson, Salt Lake City Mayor: "I'll never understand the idea especially of having gas guzzling vehicles and having taxpayers pay to fuel them. That is just beyond me."
"Salt Lake City is now offering free metered parking to Utahns whose vehicles get 50 miles per gallon, have low emissions or are powered by an alternative fuel that could reduce the nation's dependency on foreign oil. Utah already offers an income tax credit of up to $3,000 for residents who buy clean fuel vehicles and some electric hybrids. It also allows those vehicles to use high occupancy vehicle lanes at any time. Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson said providing free parking would further encourage use of those vehicles. 'It's yet another piece of the puzzle,' Anderson said."
INLAND PORT & Northpoint
"Rocky Anderson is not afraid to point out how this move was highly illegal and he is in support of Mayor Jackie Biskupski's move to file a lawsuit against the state. Anderson very clearly points out that this is just one of many times that the state is enacting policies driven by special interests and our corrupt Utah State Legislature."
After then-Council Member Erin Mendenhall voted to prevent then-Mayor Biskupski from suing to stop the Inland Port and worked out a deal with the Utah Legislature, Rocky blasts the Inland Port and the process that created it. Richard Markosian at Utah Stories said: "Rocky Anderson . . . is one of the rare political leaders in Utah that has not been bought off by special interests. . . . Rocky Anderson, according to all the business owners I’ve spoken to, was certainly a champion of small business and the people."
"A petition calling on the city to deny any plans that would turn the area into an industrial zone has more than 1,200 signatures from Utahns across the state, mostly in Salt Lake County. Former Salt Lake City Mayors Rocky Anderson and Jackie Biskupski are among the signees, according to a copy of the petition reviewed by The Salt Lake Tribune."
"Rocky Anderson was the former Mayor of Salt Lake City, and one of the rare politicians who wasn’t bought off by special interests. Anderson believes that the lawsuit filed by Mayor Biskupski against the 'Inland Port Authority' was late, but still the right move. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the proposal and the non-elected committee."
"After fighting off 'megamall,' he had other dreams for the northwest quadrant. Now, he says, if he 'didn’t live here, I’d never move to Salt Lake City' now due to its poor air. Years ago, when Rocky Anderson was Salt Lake City’s mayor, he had a vision for the northwest quadrant. He had nixed a planned 'Grand Salt Lake' megamall for the area shortly after taking office in 2000, decrying it as a magnet for more traffic and pollution."
"The matter took a major legal turn in January 2001 when Utahns for Better Transportation, Mayor Rocky Anderson of Salt Lake City, and the Sierra Club sued to challenge the issued FHWA and COE permits ('Legacy Parkway')."
"Environmental groups and Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson have long denounced the road. They argue that it would not only destroy wetlands, but would perpetuate sprawl and further degrade the Front's already murky air."
"This appeal arises from the district court's order denying the Appellants' request that the Records of Decision issued by the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (collectively the “Agencies”) concerning the Legacy Parkway project be vacated and that the Legacy Parkway Final Environmental Impact Statement be remanded for further agency action."
"It is quite ironic how Rep. Mia Love wants people to believe in a lie when it comes to Legacy Highway by blaming "Doug Owens, Rocky Anderson and radical environmentalists" for delays. The facts are that costs were caused by the Republican governor and Republican state legislators, who gave UDOT authority to grant the contract with contractual obligations that resulted in paying contractors for work not performed."
"The Legacy Highway will hurt everyone, the mayor told the Bonneville Kiwanis Club in a lunchtime speech Wednesday. Two weeks ago he joined Utahns for Better Transportation in its lawsuit to stop construction of the road, which would connect commuters between Davis and Salt Lake County."
"To Marc Heileson, a regional representative of the Sierra Club, one of the plaintiffs in the suit filed in 2001, the agreement signals not just that years of contention may come to an end, but that Utah transportation is entering a new era. Building a parkway instead of a freeway 'is a whole different mind-set.' "
"He's questioned many of Utah's bedrock beliefs: Traditional marriage. Alcohol laws. Gun rights. But nothing since the Main Street Plaza has created Rocky Rage like his attack on our automobiles. The uproar arose after Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson's State of the City speech last month when he criticized commuting by automobile and the proposed Legacy Highway for harming his constituents' - and others' - health and environment."
"'There are direct adverse impacts of this on Salt Lake City as a result of Legacy Highway with increased cars and increased pollution.' Anderson said Legacy proponents are engaging in a reckless plan that compromises precious wetlands and ignores the sensibilities of mass transit."
"But two weeks after the construction began, costs rose to $451 million, said Josh Ewing, Mayor Rocky Anderson's press secretary. 'We feel it jumped because they were hiding costs to make that the sweet route, the route to go on,' he said. Legacy was designed to relieve traffic congestion in Salt Lake City, but new highways congest roads because more people are encouraged to drive, he said."
"Immediately thereafter, a lawsuit was initiated by the Utahns for Better Transportation, Mayor Rocky Anderson, and the Sierra Club. In August 2001, The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction that halted construction. Construction remained stymied for over four years until a settlement was announced in July 2005..."
“What was really astounding, and still is, is that Governor Leavitt, in the midst of that litigation... gave the go-ahead to the contractor to start work on the Legacy Highway, committing the state, even if the highway construction were stopped by the courts, committing the state to continue paying the contractor. I believe it was some two hundred million dollars that the state of Utah had to pay the contractor even though no work was being done after the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals entered an order stopping construction."
Opposition to nuclear waste
"Storage at Yucca Mountain likely means storage at Skull Valley and transportation of waste through our communities every single day for 38 years." - Rocky Anderson
"Anderson also adamantly opposes the storage of nuclear waste in Utah, and hopes the community will rally against it."
"The mayor, who for the past year has decried transport of nuclear waste through the Salt Lake Valley, will give a litany of reasons for his opposition: The risks are too great for Salt Lake City and other communities along the route to bear, the transport may cause property values and the city's attractiveness to plummet, and Utah should not be considered the nation's waste dump."
"Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson and others who think transporting the waste on Utah’s rail lines could lead to a catastrophe. They’re joined by California, which argues that such a disaster could shut down Interstate 80 and hurt the state’s exports."
"I appreciate the opportunity to comment on the wholly inadequate proposal to transport deadly nuclear waste across country for storage at Yucca Mountain and the short-sighted national nuclear policy that has led to that proposal." -Rocky Anderson
" 'We will not be the radioactive dumping ground of this country any longer,' Anderson said."
"Goodman, Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson and Reno Mayor Jeff Griffin said the federal government had not done enough to study the risks posed by shipping nuclear waste to the proposed site by highway or rail. The federal plan would bury 77,000 tons of nuclear waste in tunnels inside Yucca Mountain, where it would remain radioactive for more than 10,000 years."
"Anderson cited health and financial risks, the unwillingness of Eastern utilities to pay for handling of their own waste products, and an exploitation of the poverty-stricken Goshutes, among other reasons for his opposition."
"Keep out of Utah and Nevada and quit lying to us, Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson told the U.S. Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee Wednesday morning."
"Some of the state's top religious, business and community leaders have come out in opposition to Utah receiving higher levels of nuclear waste...With such notable members as Jon M. Huntsman, Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Spencer F. Eccles, Catholic Bishop George Niederauer, Episcopal Bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish and other civic and religious leaders, the vote on the stand was unanimous."
" 'My greatest hope is that we don't all stand around like a bunch of sheep waiting for the slaughter," [Anderson] said...'but that we rise up and let our elected federal officials know that we are very displeased with this.' "
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