Letter: Put fee on carbon and give proceeds to people suffering from dirty air

Published: Monday, Jan. 28 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

An inversion covers downtown Salt Lake City, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

Kennecott has begun to take responsibility for the nasty air we are breathing this winter. They have made free passes available for public transportation during "red air" days through the SLC Downtown Alliance. Never mind that there is only one per household and it is only good for one day (this is at least the seventh day of breathing unhealthy air) and the window for obtaining the pass was only a few days; it is at least an acknowledgement that they can do something to clean up our air.

Frankly, this sounds like green-washing — while stating that one-third of our dirty air comes from vehicular traffic, they neglect to mention that Kennecott also contributes one-third of the pollution, according to Department of Air Quality reports. Why don't they close down or reduce activities on red air days? Why haven't they cleaned up their emissions (technology is available)?

Why is only the public asked to cut back? We clearly need a fee on carbon at the source to encourage companies whose emissions are foul to clean up. The proceeds of this fee should go directly to the households that are suffering from the dirty air.

Kathryn Allbury

Salt Lake City

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