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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Salt Lake City, UT

Can we form this as a pro-life discussion? Certainly Governor Herbert and a majority of the legislature are pro-life. And this gunky air is absolutely harming (even killing) both the born and unborn. So can we appeal to the pro-life side of Utah's government to do something substantive to improve Utah's air quality?


I bet all of these people drove separate cars to this function. Way to make a statement.

Just an Observer
Salt Lake City, UT

I don't think anyone on this board thinks clean air is a Democrat issue. What are considered Democrat issues are *some* of the non-viable "solutions" proposed. Worse yet, expecting that they don't have personal responsibility--“We want him to step up and give us real world solutions”; “We are sick of him pointing the finger at us”--is also, rightly or wrongly, considered a Democrat issue. Republicans can be more proactive at coming up with workable solutions that would not appeal to the personal-liberty crowd, and Democrats can be more willing to take responsibility for their own actions rather than expecting someone else to fix things for them.

Salt Lake City, UT

‘Studies link air pollution to increased risk of strokes and dementia’ – by Amy Joi O’Donoghue – Deseret news – 02/15/12

‘SALT LAKE CITY — Three new studies that underscore the link between bad air quality and significant health risks such as stroke, heart attacks and dementia suggest there is no safe level of air pollution and that more needs to be done to control the problem.’

Salt Lake City, UT

'EPA inventory shows Utah's sources of greenhouse gas' - By Amy Joi O'Donoghue - 02/05/13 - Published by the Deseret News

'WASHINGTON — The nation's power plants continue to be the single largest stationary source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to new information released Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency.'

Murray, UT

These people who want the governor to fix the problem are fooling them selves, wasting gas and creating more pollution to go to the capital to protest, and wasting theirs and the press's time. The governor is not the source of the pollution. It is all of us, and our cars, and our home heat.

If these people really cared, they would protest the drivers. Perhaps they could stay in their own neighborhoods organizing carpools, or holding up signs by busy roads saying things like:

Is this trip really necessary?

Please share the unused seats in your car.

Scrape, don't idle.

Turn down your heat at home.

Then they would be doing something helpful.

This protest is a spoiled child temper tantrum.


If all businesses went to rotaintg schedule like four 10's or nine 9's we would eliminate many commute days from the Provo to SLC and Ogden to SLC cummutes. Trust me the air would significantly improve. The reason this is not being done is purely the refusal of businesses to do so.

Dave D
Pocatello, ID

Can we all stop assuming that people at the rally drove in individual cars? I don't think that's fair or productive to a very important conversation.


If all businesses would go to rotaing schedules of four 10's or nine 9's and have alternate days off for employees we would see a significant decrease in the number of commutes along the Wasatch Front. The air would improve significantly. The reasons businesses won't do this is simply they do not want to. The excuses run the gamut from increased liability to reduced production from employees. All unproven and all just excuses. This is really an easy fix and one that would strengthen the areas reputation for business.

Price, Utah

Nothing that half of you moving off the Wasatch Front wouldn't cure. The prison is the least polluting population and you waint to move it. Move the U its populationi Is the most polluting.

Provo, ut

I'm glad to hear that some people are planning on moving out, that will help. but I wonder how many of those protesters drove their cars up to the capitol in order to ask the government to solve this natural problem? Maybe they could legislate on how much snow should fall during a given storm as well.

SLC gal
Salt Lake City, UT

I didn't realize the Gov. of Utah had the power to move the mountain ranges when they get inconvient. Fascinating!!!

Park City, UT

To all those who keep saying you bet they all drove individually.

Afterward, rally participants said they made it to the event in a number of ways — walking, public transit, carpooling and yes, some drove up individually in their cars to rally about clean air.

Sometimes if you just read the whole article, instead of assuming, you learn something. Then you don't look foolish when commenting.

I'm betting that more drove than not, but still it clearly states in the article that some found alternative methods of transportation.

USS Enterprise, UT

To "Believer2" you are wrong. We can change the geography. Look at photos from 100 years ago of the area where Kennecott is currently located. There used to be a mountain there.

Maybe the solution is to have Kennecott or another mining operation start an open pit mine and carve away a mountain so that when an inversion begins it form, the cold air will "drain" out of the valley?

Provo, UT

Require all out of state BYU & UVU students to leave their personal cars at home...We have a transit system!

kaysville, ut

I wonder how many of the protesters drove their cars to the state capital to be part of the pointless effort?

Brigham City, UT

VST: Have you considered that SLC gal's comment might also have been facetious? Try not to take her too seriously...

Fern RL

'Amanda Smith,... said offering free public transit on bad air days may “feel good,” but she wondered aloud at how effective it would be...“Until we start to grasp that and change how we live our lives, we are going to have an air quality problem,”'

Some of the "...how we live our lives" is government related. Public transit is not feasible for private industry to sponsor, only for government. "Free fare days" wouldn't necessarily help, either. It would just encourage more people to get out and cram onto FrontRunner for entertainment purposes. There needs to be a balance between making the fares more affordable than driving a two-occupant car, and more convenient and accessible to more people. That will cost money. I think it would be more affordable in the long run to have monthly or yearly passes be especially bargain priced. That way, even if people don't think they will ride very often they can feel better about buying the convenience of the pass and perhaps get their money's worth.

Having to drive your car and fill a parking slot all day to ride transit makes little sense either.

Salt Lake City, UT

In an earlier comment I compared air pollution to robbery and drunk driving. The differences between pollution and crime that make the comparison facetious account for the lack of political will and the difficulty of finding a policy solution. With robbery or DUIs, there is a single perpetrator with a single action that is directly attributable to tangible individual harm. A law penalizing the action (robbing, drinking) can easily affect individual behavior (decision to rob or drive drunk) and prevent or reduce the harm.

With the inversion, the problem is created by tens of thousands of small individual decisions and the harm, while measurable and linked, is less direct. An emphysema death from the inversion cannot be tied to any one person's decision to drive that day, nor does any one person's decision to drive/not drive appreciably affect the odds of someone dying of emphysema. The harm is diffuse and the product of collective behavior. You can’t simply penalize driving, say, to reduce the harm, because each individual will rebut that THEIR driving isn’t killing anyone. It also doesn't help from a policy standpoint that the conditions that create inversions are intermittent and unpredictable.

Brigham City, UT

There is also the problem of the overwhelming entitlment society we have created that means I am entitled to drive my car any day I want, and justify it by saying that doing something else is just too darn inconvenient. It must be someone else's responsibility to resolve the issue. Certainly isn't mine and I shouldn't have to expend any more effort than to complain about it. (Where's my sarcasm font?)

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