Comments about ‘Letter: Clean air’

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Published: Thursday, Dec. 19 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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heber city, UT

I know of no one saying we want "the same air quality..."
But, to ask for SAFE air quality does not seem unreasonable. To ask the State to prioritize and protect the health and well being of its citizens does not seem unreasonable. To ask the State to stop giving permits to corporations to INCREASE the pollutants going into our already unsafe air does not seem unreasonable. To ask the State to require better controls on what currently goes into the air is not unreasonable given the unsafe air quality that now exists here. I would hope that all people would want to strive to make this a better place instead of allowing the continual degradation of quality of life.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I have a catholic converter on my wood stove. my car has one. How much will it cost for a house to? That's all we need more costs to add to a homeowner. One more bill.

Magna, UT

What an enormously selfish letter. This is an issue with real problems. The fact that you are willing to lump everyone who find discord with air quality into your tight sociopolitical boxes only reveals how unwilling you are to have a meaningful discussion on the topic. These “tree huggers” you refer to are parents who are desperately trying to get their infants and toddlers to breathe when they wake up in the night asthmatic and gasping for air. These “Federal Bureaucrats” are the infirm who are stuck in bed because they no longer get sufficient oxygen to support any kind of physical activity. These “anchors who have short memories” are speaking for the enormous economic toll that disease, whose severity and longevity is compounded by bad air, has on our community every winter. Again, these problems are real. I and many others experience them on a daily basis. So excuse me if you are tired of the dialog that takes place every winter. But your delicate political sensibilities have no bearing in clean air discussion. Write back when you are willing to give the issue the attention it deserves. Until then, quit complaining about those that do.

Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . to ask for SAFE air quality does not seem unreasonable."

Of course it's not. But that's not what tree-hugging liberals are really asking for.

Why would they? We already have safe air.

To Utah's tiny cabal of leftist, tree-hugging "environmentalists," our State's highest and best use is as an entertainment and alcohol-sotted petting zoo for their back-East and Left-Coast cronies. So, if your chosen profession involves traditional Utah activities -- mining, ranching, transportation, building, or anything else actually productive -- you should lose your job and, ultimately, be forced out.

Long-term goals involve forcing submission to rule by a new aristocracy, composed entirely of rich, tree-hugging liberals. Curiously, they seem to expect their deranged mantra -- "we know what you need better than you do" -- somehow to catch on with real people.

And, sadly, it does seems to be catching on with too many politicians, academics, even some wealthy businessmen hungrier for liberal acclaim, than success.

It'll never catch on with real people, however, so most current liberal schemes center about, either forcing real people out, or forcing us to submit.

Salt Lake City, UT

@george of the jungle
"I have a catholic converter on my wood stove. "

Probably works quite well now that there's the new Pope.

Magna, UT

"Of course it's not. But that's not what tree-hugging liberals are really asking for."

Again, your lumping everyone who wants clean air into a single sociopolitical box. All I want is to not need a horse cart of Albuterol every winter to allow my son to breath. I say this not as an outsider wishing to impose my beliefs on you. I was born here, I was raised here, I love it here. You are not the victim of a liberal conspiracy. It must be truly terrifying to see enemies everywhere.

salt lake city, UT

This isn't about tree hugging liberals at all, and your notions about doing a job that is "traditional Utah" are ludicrous. My husband is a native Utahn and this state is our children's heritage. Why shouldn't we want to protect their heritage? AND my husband is a doctor. But I guess in your eyes, that isn't a traditional Utah profession, not productive, so all doctors should just leave. Good luck with that the next time you are in the hospital, I guess maybe a miner can give you a shot of whiskey and you can grin and bear it.

Poplar Grove, UT

So what i've learned is that you can't be from Utah and a liberal, which is weird, because I grew up in Bountiful Utah, and i've lived her my whole life, and i'm a "liberal" who for some reason wants to breath. Also that because Utah has geographic challenges we should just give up, and not try to improve air quality. I really hope that isn't the typical "Utah" attitude, giving up when things get too hard is a cowardly way to live you life.

slc, UT

Anyone who says or thinks our air is safe is naive and uninformed, and also not in tune with their body. Being able to breathe has become a burden during our winter months, and effects the health and well-being of everyone who breathes the foul, poisonous air. I've lived in Utah most of my life, and my personal beliefs have nothing to do with the fact that I'm unable to live a healthy life style. I think about moving away from this hell every winter....and believe the time I do move away from my home, because it has become too poisonous to thrive in, is just a matter of time.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

So after removing the useless and childish name calling from proc's comments, there really isn't much said. He mistakenly believes that Utah is a agricultural/mining community and as such we should allow these two groups do do as they please with little, actually No concern, for the environment because mining communities in Utah have a history of good stewardship? The tax payers have never been left with super-site clean-ups.

Proc said: "It'll never catch on with real people, however, so most current liberal schemes center about, either forcing real people out, or forcing us to submit."

"Real People" don't abuse their environment for short term financial gain, or consider living in a cleaner world a curse on them.

salt lake city, UT

This can't be the typical Utah attitude - I'll bet there were soooo many times when the pioneers wanted to give up, to pack up there handcarts and just head back. But they didn't. They made the desert bloom and now it is for us to figure out a way to work together to make the air safe every single day - despite the odds!

Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . i'm a 'liberal' who for some reason wants to breath."

I think you meant to say "breathe." But that's not what you really mean.

You can breathe. I can breathe. Maybe even a little better today than when Utah really had an air quality problem, though we got by pretty well, even then. If liberals, tree-huggers, and parents of asthmatic children had actual evidence that productive Utah activities affect breathing, they'd own those companies.

Since that don't, we know the real agenda here has little to do with breathing. We'll have to look elsewhere for hidden motivations.

We know parents love their children, and would like us to try anything to make their lives better. Whether it's wasteful and unlikely to work for them, or not. There's an agenda.

We know tree-huggers consider humans -- excepting themselves -- an undesirable infestation. There's a likely agenda.

We know socialists want government control of production. There's another agenda.

And, we know liberals crave, above all, control of others.

That's the most likely agenda.

But breathing? It's clearly not a real agenda.

Salt Lake City, UT

" It's ridiculous to expect the same air quality in Salt Lake City as Lincoln, Neb., or Washington, D.C. Quit complaining." But what are the health consequences of our dirty air. If they are as bad as some say, then the air must be cleaned up regardless of cost. That may mean slowing or stopping growth along the Wasatch Front.

one old man
Ogden, UT

A catholic convertor?????

I'm sure the LDS church would love to talk with you about loaning that some of their missionaries, george of the jungle.

Provo, UT


I agree with this letter writer, several of the posters, and the Koch Brothers in that industry, which pollutes the most, should never ever ever be held accountable. They must be allowed to produce more pollution than the EPA allows in order to remain functional. If we don't allow them to pollute we will all run out of gas!

Provo, UT

Do the people of Utah have any say in this matter? Or do only industry and their bought off politicians?

the majority of Utahns DON'T support the Holly refinery expansion and the majority WANT higher restrictions and penalties on industries that do not comply with the EPA.

I feel like my Democracy here in Utah is taken away. We live under an Oligarchy of crony politicians and big industry. We the People be darned. I want my state back.

Kearns, UT

I grew up in the Salt Lake Valley. I remember the summer days when, from Murray, you couldn't see the mountains on either side of the valley due to Geneva Steel and Kennecott. The usual winter temperature inversions were also worse back then. I remember many times coming back from Alta or Brighton and seeing the brown smudge layer on the valley floor.

My personal opinion is the air quality was worse back then than it is now. The air was so thick in the 60's and 70's during the winter, you could cut it with a knife. The last bout of really bad inversions I remember was in the late 80's. Since then, they've been inconvenient but nowhere near as bad.

BTW, I'll bet most Utah citizens could care less about the Holly Refinery or would be in favor of expansion because they think gas prices would go down. Not true but that would be the perception.


It's unfortunate that there is so much emotion but no ideas for actually improving air quality. Dr. Moench and his buddies would like to pick and choose a few businesses to shut down, but it isn't obvious that doing so would make any measurable difference in our air quality during inversions. (One of the companies he would like to shut down - Stericycle - apparently provides services to health care providers - conflict of interest, Dr. Moench?) Randomly shutting down businesses that look like they sometimes emit pollution isn't a rational approach to the problem.

We need to understand what's in the air and where it's coming from before we can act to reduce the problem. We need to understand the costs of making changes to improve air quality, and we need to understand how much difference the changes will make. We need to figure out how to share the burden of the costs.

In the meantime, a surgical mask will filter out the fine particulates. It's cheap and it works if you're bothered by the air.

West Jordan, UT

There are certain standards of air quality that we should expect everywhere. Will there be areas with air significantly better than the standard? Yes. Should some areas be allowed to go below that reasonable standard? No!

Dave D
Spring Creek, NV

"It's ridiculous to expect the same air quality in Salt Lake City as Lincoln, Neb., or Washington, D.C. Quit complaining."

I would flip that and say, because Utahns live in a "bath tub" we should not expect to drive as much, or support polluting industry as much as Lincoln, Nebraska. Our decisions affect each other. Perhaps nowhere is that more magnified than with the Utah air. I don't know how we as Latter-day Saints became so anti-environmentalist when being good stewards of the earth's resources is such a clear part of our theology.

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