Comments about ‘Tempest swirls around Utah's dirty air problem’

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Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6 2013 8:00 p.m. MST

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DN Subscriber 2

The complainers really need to blame God, since it is His geologic formation of our area that created the bowl which holds the inversions in place.

But, most leftists do not believe in God, so I guess they will blame Republicans instead.


Herbert doesn't lead. He follows....whatever business tells him to do.

There are a variety of possible solutions. Some will cost, some will cost hardly anything.

Just hoping people will "limit their driving" is NOT a solution. (crosses fingers)

CNG cars, free UTA, higher taxes at the pump on polluted days are just a couple of ideas.

Folks smarter than me probably have more.

Problem is; Herbert just issues "press releases" and hopes the issue goes away!

Dont Tread
Iron County, UT

The idea that a complicated environmental problem that is two parts geography and one part society, with the society element able to be further divided into a plethora of culprits, can be solved by the simple stroke of the executive pen is one of the great factors that has led to the modern day floundering of the American Democratic-Republic.
Too often left-leaning people smirk at Republicans who claim to be the party of personal responsibility, but then these "progressives" are the ones on the steps shouting, "Stop blaming us," and asserting that absolutely nothing in this country can be solved without increasing the scope and size of our government. I have only read of one government in society that was able to force the type of societal change we are discussing here, and that government did so with Centurions and Legionnaires. No matter what issue we discuss it will always come down to this--this country can only be saved within the walls of the average American Home, and not in the halls Legislative hypocrisy.

Salt Lake City, UT

“The governor does not have the authority to shut down a legally operating business,” said Alan Matheson, Herbert’s environmental adviser and one of several staff members made available Wednesday to counter the criticism." Who is asking for that? Find a way to max out mass transit and minimize car traffic, like odds and evens.

Draper, UT

We should use caution before making big changes that ould impose tax and business restrictions for a problem that exists for a few weeks each year, and still might not solve the problem, which is largely due to geological conditions that are unalterable.

Taylorsville, UT

Geography is only responsible for the inversions, the rest of pollution is less complicated to solve than the governor pretends it to be.

The state and business and commuters will all have to be more tolerant of the weather and natural weather road conditions but there is a way to greatly improve the snake oil sales pitches the governor is offering without taxing gas or citizens to excess.

Our pollution in this valley is not emission related anymore, that element has become irrelevant and California is proof of that.

The particulate matter salt, mud, dirt, and excessive use of commercially registered vehicles and vehicles used in business are not maintained to standards and cleanliness when tracking mud onto the roads. Vehicles of 1 ton and larger are granted loose emission standards and enforcment. The I-15 is the base culprit of our pollution where salt in winter melts snow and ice to water that traps dirt, mud, tire debris from drainage and high speed vehicles kick up this debris like an old dusty desert roads in the summer. You can see these dust clouds for miles and this is the same effect on our I-15 corridor.

Ogden, UT

I'm sorry, but this protest is nearly worthless, and folks like Mr. Ingwell who shout tritely for solutions from heads of state who have no real authority on the matter do nothing to help. We cause the air quality problem here, each and every one of us who burns petroleum products to get around and heat our homes. I dislike Governor Herbert's environmental record, but he can't do much about this.

It's pathetic that we willingly foul our own nest during the inversions, but unless we completely shut down our normal way of life for weeks at a time, it's inevitable. Shutting down refineries & industry would help--some. But cost--a lot. Pubic transit is rather inefficient for most of us and simply cannot get me where I need to go for work. Drive I must. I despise the air quality around here but am pragmatic enough to know that this place would have to grind to a halt to prevent it during these multi-week inversions.

God cursed this place in winter. If I or a child of mine had a respiratory weakness, I would seriously consider moving out of this state.

Bountiful, UT

re: Marxist

“The governor does not have the authority to shut down a legally operating business,” -
Who is asking for that?

Carl Ingwell and company are asking for that. When they say "shut down refineries when the air is bad" they are demanding that a legally operating business is shut downn.

Jack Rose
China, 00

I have a home in the Heber Valley but am living in Beijing China right now. I never thought much about air pollution until moving here. Believe me when I say that you don't want air pollution to get out of hand. If it is getting worse then measures need to be taken by private and public interest to curb it.

It is not the government's duty to clean it up. That is what is supposed to be the difference between China and the USA. We the people are in charge of the destiny of our country not the government. Let's not forget it. If we the people are making the air dirty and if we the people really want cleaner air then let's get on the stick and get it done. It is not entirely correct to say that it is the mountains or whatever that causes it, is it? How much pollution was there in 1847 or even 1947. Working together we can clean it up by involving our government representatives not handing them the job and our checkbooks, again.


Do nothing. Please governor. Stick to your guns and do absolutely nothing. Don't look to other states that have had similar problems and found workable resolutions. Don't try to get any science based discussion around atmospheric trends, causes, and possible preventative measures. Do nothing. Please.

Then see how many businesses start moving elsewhere over the next five years. See how many businesses from out of state find Utah an attractive place to bring their company. See how many people relocate to other states for health reasons. See how many tourists continue to flock to Utah to ski in the pretty grey snow.

But by all means, please do nothing. Don't even try.

Saratoga Springs, UT

What they didn't report was that ever single one of these protesters showed up in their gasoline, diesel fuel cars and trucks.

Kearns, UT

We are planning to move from the Salt Lake area when we retire. We are tired of having difficulty breathing. We live in an area where we can walk to stores, schools, library, post office etc. The air is so nasty, it is difficult to breath while walking.


I fail to understand why commenters on this board think clean air is a Democrat issue. Shouldn't everyone be fighting for clean air?

Shouldn't government regulators only allow refineries etc to operate on good air days??
Shouldn't government raise taxes on gasoline during bad air days?
Shouldn't government allow driving only on odd and even days during high pollution times??
Shouldn't private citizens refrain from using their wood burning stoves during bad air days?
Shouldn't private citizens car pool on high pollution days?
Shouldn't private citizens leave their cars in the garage on bad air days?

It seems that so many fail to see that this air is killing us. So many in Utah are against smoking a cigarette now and then, but for some reason they feel it's ok if they breathe in this air 24/7???

Brigham City, UT

“We want clean air NOW!” or we’re going to stomp our feet and call you names. No “real world solutions” were provided by the group. Just a lot of whining, name calling and finger pointing. Blasted Governor anyway...

The statistics presented at the "whine in" show that 57 percent of the air pollution is caused by vehicles, 32 percent comes from area sources such as small businesses, homes and other sources. Only 11% from local industry. Yet the complainers are “tired of Herbert telling people to get out of their cars and laying the problem on the doorstep of individuals, when more action and leadership is needed from him.”

Like it or not, until we the people change our personal lifestyles, the problem will continue. Geography promises that.

How about the loudest complainers come up with some real viable solutions. Something concrete. More than just a nebulous "increase taxes and shut down industry". Lay out a specific plan and then present it, like grownups. Do something constructive with it. Do some real homework and get the support of those around you, but with a viable solution, not for a whine fest.

Colorado Springs, CO

@DN Subscriber: Boy, I'd really like to see the statistics about most "leftists" not believing in God!

Salt Lake City, UT

The state certainly has had no problem inserting itself into private business affairs in other areas of public health. It has required all businesses to exclude smoking customers from their premises. It has forced restaurants to make expensive architectural modifications to prevent children from being exposed to the corrupting sight of cocktail preparation. It has even socialized an entire sector of the economy to control liquor distribution and sales. (Another state, Kansas, has gone as far as dictating the dimensions of rooms and thermostat setttings of abortion providers.) The precedents are there. The issue is not whether the state can intervene in private enterprise to protect public health. That has been shown. It is all about political will and whose interests are to be protected, public health or business?

Why don't we adopt the state's air quality strategy of voluntary compliance and apply it to other issues? Instead of laws against bank robbery, we could just encourage people not to rob banks (at least on days when there are have been excessively high numbers of robberies). Instead of having legal limits on blood alcohol levels for drivers, we could just ask people not to drive drunk.

Dave D
Pocatello, ID

I am appalled by the laissez faire attitudes on this page. Is Utah's geography different? Yes. And do these differences cause the bad air quality? ABSOLUTELY NOT! We do. Can't we all see that what we are doing to our planet offends God? We are killing ourselves by not changing our lifestyle. We are destroying nature. Until we start seeing our polluting actions as sinful, I fear things will continue to get worse.

Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . she wondered aloud at how effective it would be at getting people out of their cars and actually changing their personal ethic."

Who is she to even wonder how best to force us out of our cars?

That's the real problem with liberals in government. They can't discuss, persuade, even harangue, with considering the next step -- who to FORCE their will on us.

Salt Lake City, UT

Public transit is not, and will never be as convenient as driving yourself. However personal vehicle use is where the most effect can be achieved. In this electronic age many people could work from home, and I believe significant improvement could be made if business were encouraged/required/rewarded to allow them to do so.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

Question: How did these protesters get to the rally? Did they ride bikes or take mass transit? No, they came in a bunch of cars - probably very old cars getting poor mpg since this was basically a bunch of unemployed college kids - on a red air quality day. In other words, their response to the call to avoid unnecessary driving was....to do a bunch of unnecessary driving. Way to preserve our air quality, guys!

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