Published: Thursday, March 14 2013 1:50 p.m. MDT
This is evidence of our great education system.
Air quality regulation must be carefully considered. It's not something -
anything! - to be thrown together quickly to satisfy protestors. That was the
problem with Senator Briscoe's two bills; they were eactions to protestors
lining up in front of the Capitol Building so he could appear to be doing
something.What we really need are legislators who do some homework
during the months when the Legislature is not in session. Air quality is a
complex subject that requires research, education, planning and bipartisan work.
The docs and Mr. Marasco are absolutely right. Abominable lack of leadership.
Before the session began, the Governor received 8500 signatures demanding
action. Over 100 doctors signed on a letter declaring a health emergency and
getting national attention, but apparently our leaders know better than 8500
citizens and highly trained doctors. The governor should have used the bully
pulpit to demand air quality bills. He should have put ideas on the table. The
docs gave him many. The Moms have since followed up with more. The legislative
majority should have considered the health of our citizens over their shameless
pandering to industry. The real truth folks, based on this legislative
session.....our leaders LIKE smog. There can be no other rational conclusion.
They could still redeem themselves by calling a special session specifically to
work out solutions for short term and long term clean air policies, but i
won't bother holding my breath.
With the current leadership being dominated by one party rule nothing will
change. It's all about the money for them and until the people of this
state decide what's more important to them, money or air, nothing will
change. You want action on clean air, vote the current bunch out! This will
become a huge issue in future elections. I was out to dinner with a very
Republican friend who told me that he will move out of the state if something is
not done. A lot of people will do the same if things don't improve.
Inversions are natural, pollution is not!
Salt Lake City in located in a valley. Inversion happens. The protestors and
groups they represented at the Capital are more interested in vilifying industry
and job creators in industry than in air quality solutions. ( Funny how the same
people show up over and over in these protest pictures and the same people are
always front and center at any opportunity to slam capitalism. ) Our legislators
are working on solutions, but have the wisdom to try and find a solution that
does not involve "killing the goose" to solve the problem.
Here is the funny thing yet again about the misinformation being perpetuated
here.First, Utah does not have year round pollution problems
according to the EPA and the Heart and Lung Association. It has short term
problems.Second, according to NASA and their article "Aerosols:
Tiny Particles, Big Impact", only 10% of the fine particle pollution is man
made. That means that 90% of the fine particle pollution is NATURAL. So, even
if we cut our emissions by 50%, that would account for a 5% drop in fine
particle pollution.Or, am I wrong and these advocates have figured
out how to legislate new laws for Nature?
I am a little curious as to what these people are doing themselves. All I see
are protests demanding "action". Why dont those 8000 people get together
and create something better than what we currently do? Create a new process or
product that has a real advantage over the current status quo. I guess it is
just easier to hold up posters.
Short-sided. There are times when regulation is better for the overall economy -
this is one of them. Utah's government is siding with the polluters at the
expense of public health and public perception. The cost of ignoring the latter
at the preference of the former will be a fools bargain. Utah's air woes
were all over the national/world news this winter. The local standard of living
is a joke - the perceived positives of living a semi-rural, active-outdoor
lifestyle are utterly trumped by months of unsightly and damaging air. The
ski/outdoor industry will suffer (Colorado may not have Utah's snow, but at
least you can see the mountains), talented people will leave for greener
pastures (or less-green air), companies will not relocate since no one will move
to Utah (since the air is actually cleaner in California). If government were
thinking long-term, and not with reelection in mind, they would legislate
strongly favoring clean air regulation, high density, mass transit and a move to
an information economy better suited to valleys which can't geographically
support heavy industry. My $.02 from a California 'liberal' who
proudly hails from Utah.
To "sfbayutes" you should go to the Heart and Lung association's
web site. California is very well represented on the list of top 10 cities with
year round pollution problems. Cities like LA have really bad
problems, yet it hasn't seemed to stop people from going there.FYI, Utah doesn't have "months of unsightly and damaging air".
At best it has a few weeks of fog during the winter, and a few weeks of haze
during the summer.Why do you blame the heavy industry for the hazy
air, when (according to NASA) 90% of the fine particles in the air are NATURAL?
How do you propose that we regulate nature?
Here's the funny thing about inversion politics: It's very easy to
complain about air quality when you have a job. When you don't have a job,
air quality is pretty much the farthest thing from your mind.In
other words, if you asked Utahns to exchange all the jobs in the valley for
perfectly clean air, 99% of us would say no deal.All the legislature
is doing is representing what Utahns want: Jobs before clean air.
RedShirt, "according to NASA and their article "Aerosols: Tiny
Particles, Big Impact", only 10% of the fine particle pollution is man made.
That means that 90% of the fine particle pollution is NATURAL. So, even if we
cut our emissions by 50%, that would account for a 5% drop in fine particle
pollution."The numbers you are citing from that article refer to
worldwide particle counts. It's fallacious to assume that the composition
of the air in our state or specific cities and counties therein would be
identical to the total composition of all air on Earth. The article makes human
impact clear in its last three paragraphs. I'm limited in how many words I
can use, so I'll just copy and paste some brief statements from said
article:"Though less abundant than natural forms, anthropogenic
aerosols can dominate the air downwind of urban and industrial areas.""Deforestation, overgrazing, drought, and excessive irrigation can
alter the land surface, increasing the rate at which dust aerosols enter the
To "RedShirt" - Inversions are natural. Smog (unhealthy PM2.5/10 and
ozone levels) is man-made and can be dramatically reduced by us. I agree
California has more than it's share of pollution issues. It also has 38
million people where Utah doesn't break 3 million. I question the logic of
arguing Utah is no worse than the L.A. basin or Beijing. If you're a town
that prides itself on the great outdoors and an active lifestyle you don't
ever want to be in the same sentence as those places. And you don't want
your cities to be in the top 5 at airnow dot gov regularly from November to
March (as well as July). California's
climate/beaches/opportunities/diversity will always be a draw - enough that
people will put up with quite a lot (of bad air, bad taxes, bad politics).
Utah's draws aren't as obvious, but many of the ones that exist depend
on a healthy environment. I also thought that Utah's economy was the
'envy' of the nation with a relatively low jobless rate - certainly if
anyone could afford to invest in clean air it would be Utah. If not now, when?
"Interested" from Logan: "Why dont those 8000 people get together
and create something better than what we currently do?Create a new process or
product that has a real advantage over the current status quo."Utah Mom's for Clean Air have sent lists of suggestions to improve our
air quality, Utah Physicians for Clean Air have worked to get the refineries to
install EPA-mandated pollution-reducing systems before asking for expansion.Part of the work they are doing is similar to the job of a free press:
they are exposing the misinformation which the industry and government are using
to paint a more positive picture than reality (using statewide air poolution
measurements rather than county measurements to make Kennecott appear to
contribute only 3 percent rather than 30 percent of particle pollution, for
To "Man_of_letters" lets see, not a whole lot of logging going in the
Salt Lake Valley. No major industrial area or urban areas. The area is a
desert, and with the amount of suburban housing, we are actually preventing more
dust from entering the atmosphere.But the climatologists measure CO2
at one point for the entire earth, and if CO2 can be considered evenly
distributed through the atmosphere, why can't we do the same for small
particles?To "sfbayutes" actually it is easy to argue that
Salt Lake doesn't have the pollution problems that LA or Beijing has. The
simple fact that we don't have the same pollution problem is a good place
to start, combine that with the unique geography of Utah, and it is easy to say
that Utah's problems are very different.People are not always
drawn to Utah for the climate. The climate here is not the best. People come
to utah for the culture and the family friendly culture.
Wait, no urban areas? The entire Wasatch Front is an urban area with hundreds of
thousands of vehicles commuting daily.No industrial areas? We have various
refineries, medical waste incinerators, mining operations (both extraction and
processing at Kennecott all over the Oquirrhs), gravel pits on both the north
and south ends of the valley, power plants, and agricultural areas.
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