Letter: Bad air hurts Utah's economy and property values

Published: Sunday, Feb. 10 2013 8:18 a.m. MST

Inversion takes hold again along the Wasatch Front Monday, Feb. 4, 2013.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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As a business person and property owner with operations and holdings in the Salt Lake region, I am concerned with the trend away from air quality controls.

Having worked with dozens of Utah's most recognizable businesses on this issue (successfully petitioning Warren Buffett to cancel several planned coal-fired power plants for Rocky Mountain Power), we believe the collective negative impact of largely unregulated airborne emissions on air quality, viewsheds, watersheds and snowpack threatens broad aspects of Utah's economy and property values.

Utah's natural beauty is a recognized resource worldwide for providing a high quality of life, drawing national and international commercial interests here including clients of mine from as far away as India. However, other clients have bypassed Utah after unfortunately experiencing the choking effects of our inversions.

The low cost of unfiltered coal-fired power generation and industrial activity bears a high cost in the health and productivity of our workforce and in our international allure as a place to live, work, vacation and recreate. If we need to support industry to adjust to change, then let's do that, but the basis for it must be a recognition that clean air is the best fuel for our state's economic future!

Alexander Lofft, Martek Global Services Inc.

Salt Lake City

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