What are they going to propose a carbon tax on everyone now.
@ Joe Blow et. al.: I thought about buying a dual-fuel CNG vehicle a couple of
years ago. At the time, I passed a CNG fueling station in Logan near the end of
my commute. Using CNG at the time cost half as much per mile as using gasoline,
but I could still use gasoline on long trips where there was no CNG. The
savings were largely because of s State CNG subsidy. Without the subsidy, the
cost would have been about the same. Another thing to consider is
whether or not there's a mechanic in the area that is experienced with CNG
systems. In my case, the nearest mechanic I could find that was experienced in
such systems was 30 miles away, which was the reason I didn't buy the
system.CNG makes sense when it's not far out of your way to
reach a filling station and a repair shop experienced in working on CNG systems,
but a dual-fuel system makes more sense to me. There is a trade-off. The CNG
tank will take a lot of your cargo space.
I drove from Tremonton to Beaver a few weeks ago during an extended inversion. I
expected the pollution to end by the time I hit Nephi, but it spilled over the
passes all the way past Kanosh and some of it even spilled over into the Cove
Fort area. The only place that had clean air was Beaver. Apparently, during the
worst inversions, the pollution layer extends from somewhere in Idaho clear to
Kanosh, and sometimes beyond. Taking one measure isn't going to
solve our pollution problem. It's going to take multiple measures. Bus
rides are free in the Cache valley, yet during the inversions it often has the
worst pollution in the nation. I like the idea of offering free transit -
especially during inversions, but the masses first need to be motivated to use
the transit system,something they aren't currently motivated to do. If
transit was used more heavily,the cost per ride would decrease. The public would
save in transportation costs by decreased vehicle usage. At least would be a
drop in the bucket in reducing pollution. However, we also need to find ways to
reduce air pollution in other ways.
Natural gas is an excellent idea. I have noticed CNG garbage trucks. County,
city, and state gov't should start immediately converting their fleets to
CNG. They could all refuel at a central location. They only exception would be
emergency vehicles such as police and fire. What about traffic lights? A caller
on KSL mentioned that Phoenix allows motorists to treat red lights as a four way
stop during certain hours. Traffic lights should all be synchronized and busy
intersections controlled by a computer or from a remote location. It is
ridiculous to sit at a long light, idling and wasting fuel when you are the
only vehicle in sight. Another idea is to give a tax credit to citizens and
auto dealers who sell worn out vehicles for scrap. Similiar to cash for
clunkers except much easier to implement.
Either way, we're in limbo. They state in the article that they want to
raise gas prices. However, they also state there is debate between putting the
money towards mass transit or putting money towards roads. Improving road
conditions won't do anything to decrease air pollution and unless UTA
decides to cooperate on something (and the citizens decide to participate)
putting the money towards mass transit isn't going to do anything either.
The way I see it, UTA just did a HUGE expansion of the FrontRunner
line. If it's not as successful as they hoped for at the time, then why
pump more money towards UTA? The only thing UTA could do with extra money at
this point is provide free passes and/or reduce prices. Kennecott provided one
free day pass to citizens that applied for it, but UTA has chosen not to do
anything, except take in more money and change routing schedules.
I just looked at the graph. We are definitely trending down, which is good. This
year is not the norm, but an anomaly. Remember the Great Salt Lake pumps?
Legislators could end up doing something as dumb as that. We don't use our
wood fireplaces anymore. We drive much more eco-friendly cars. There aren't
as many factories as there used to be. The only thing left is for us to leave.
But there will still be an inversion each year.
A couple things for @toosmartforyou:- you're right about gas
supply and prices not fitting Economics 101. Aside from supply and demand,
speculation, hedging, and collusion all affect gas prices. And, obviously, so do
taxes.- that said, consumers' usage of gasoline, especially
with regard to its pricing, definitely does fit Economics 101. (You said so
yourself with your "some folks may curtail their driving with higher
prices" comment.) I suggest you read up on the "substitution
effect". In this case, walking, biking, carpooling, using public
transportation, not driving at all, and driving more fuel-efficient cars are
some of the substitutes for driving as it currently exists.- I never
said anything like "raising gasoline taxes is our best solution". My
only point was that that raising gas taxes will affect gas usage.
What In Tucket.Agreed that natural gas is an excellent choice. But,
we have the chicken and egg scenario. No one converts to Nat Gas cars cause
theres no place to fill them, and no one builds filling stations cause there are
not enough NG vehicles.This is where the Govt can step in and help
to fund NG filling stations.(heaven forbid) Just to get past the tipping point
(and tax it a small amount to recoup the money spent)I actually
think the first place to do it would be the major corridors ( I 10 from Fla to
Ca etc.Give an incentive for 18 Wheelers to go NG first then go from
there. Look at the pickens plan.
Yesterday the state legislature killed a proposal to make tax credits available
for CNG. No, they're NOT listening to the citizens who would like
something/anything done.Just asking people not to drive on bad air
days doesn't seem to be working much.
The cause of the inversion is nitrogen oxides from vehicles using gasoline and
diesel. The solution is to have all vehicles use natural gas. It is a nice
clean fuel, practically no nitrogen oxides,less CO2 than gasoline, it is cheap
and it is ours. The problem is that converting a used vehicle to natural gas is
expensive because those who do this work gouge the public. It is best if it is
installed in Detroit. Second if the demand for natural gas grows will the cost
go up. Diesel is easier to make than gasoline, but is more expensive. Figure
that out. I think the supply of natural gas is so great the price will not rise.
@ Uncle GFor anyone that regularly does business with the State of
Utah, the 4-day work week was a disaster. The private companies suffered a
down-turn in productivity because of that arbitrary limitation. And the results
weren't as great as everyone thought they would achieve.I'd give the effort a D+ at best. F for not thinking it through, C for
wanting to do something positive, averaging a D, which moves up to a D+ because
people really tried to make it work. But like most of what government mandates
without enough input, it failed. (Just like Uncle Sam and what Congress
decides----same operating procedure, same results.)
If I remember correctly, Governor Huntsman implemented a four-day work week for
state employees a few years ago, but the Legislature overruled the program. (For
the record, the Legislature's action violated the Utah Constitution)Wouldn't a four-day work week help reduce the amount of pollution?
@ Jacob WSorry, Econ 101 doesn't fit gasoline. It's not a
guns/butter issue. The pricing of gasoline isn't tied to
supply and demand. The "demand" hasn't varied much in the last 30
days, yet prices are skyrocketing. Maverik and Sinclair lead the way and the
others follow. I've had a manager at Smith's tell me he prices his
fuel to match Maverik. Does that sound like Econ 101 or collusion? Sinclair is
always at the forefront of higher prices and they get their crude from Wyoming,
not overseas.Some folks may curtail their driving with higher
prices, but how much of that was observed during the inversion when prices were
much higher than last year? And when prices fell for a few brief weeks were
there suddenly packed highways with hundreds more vehicle trips every day? No,
of course not.I sold a V-8 pick-up truck and bought a car that got
about 40% better gas mileage and did the cost of gas drop? Not one penny.Get off this "raising gasoline taxes is our best solution"
deception and come up with real solutions, not political ones for tree huggers.
That's Reality 101.
@toosmartforyou:Raising the price of gasoline will absolutely make
people need less of it. Just think about it: if you were paying twice as much as
you currently are for gas, would you leave you car idling in the parking lot
while you ran into 7-11? Would you take unnecessary trips? Of course not. One
big reason to tax gas is to encourage its savings. And if gas was more
expensive, people would carpool more, walk/bike instead of driving, ride
publictransportion, and buy more fuel-efficient vehicles. This is
Economics 101.Kudos to the mayors for their efforts at improving our
Do these mayors all feel they owe it to their cities to blame it on someones
else for the pollution? Do they really think taxation will reduce the pollution?
The cities, mayors, governors "are" the problem of polluted inversions
and they are all in denial for the solution.Polluting the inversions
of the Wasatch valley (Cedar City to Idaho border) is government denial. The
inversions are not a harmful pollution, its what we put inside the inversion is
the pollution. The inversion belt should become a no commercial build
environmental hazard zone.A new business moves to Utah we put it in
the inversion zone so it can be taxed by government cities within the hazard
zone, selfish greed. Rather that care about the pollution hazard, they let greed
rule then complain to the state saying they aren't doing enough to clean
the air. Were I governor, the inversion zone would be cleared of
industrial complexes. This law alone without any changes in taxation or extreme
filtering would remove tens of thousands of vehicles and people and businesses
to more environmentally safe areas of the state. Its a plus plus plan that
eludes every government entity.
Great.....more taxes. Just because you charge more for gasoline
doesn't mean people need any less of it. And it doesn't affect
supply, either. Regardless of the price there's plenty of it available.
So it isn't a true free market commodity.Politicians only have
one power and that is to TAX people. I say NO!!!! There must be other
solutions than raising taxes again and again and again. It you could tax
stupidity do you think suddenly there wouldn't be any more stupid persons?
(Don't answer that.....)
1. On red days, any private company that contributes more than 1% of Utah
county's pollution must shut down.2. On red days, a special gas tax
will be levied at the pump. Said tax will be used to pay for the subsidy to
provide free public transportation.These ideas seem like a
reasonable place to start. They create pain for industry and pain for
Resolution is simple. Just get rid of the people. Radical environmentalists
could set the example and leave first.
The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency might be a good resource for finding out how to
control air pollution in the valleys of northern utah. Google it.
It is great that people believe that inversions can be deemed illegal and then
they will magically go away. If you do not want inversions the only answer is
to move the mountains.