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Comments about ‘In our opinion: Utah leaders get serious about cleaning the air’

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Published: Friday, Dec. 27 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Anybody besides me remember the late Sam Taylor? Among other positions he served on the Utah PSC. He advocated for UTA providing free transportation. In his view mass transit would never meet its potential without it. It deserves another look. TRAX is the workhorse core of UTA, but the rest of the system leaves a whole lot to be desired. I stay off of UTA because of the lousy bus connections out of South Davis. Dense mass transit is a key.

Makid
Kearns, UT

With approximately $50 Million extra a year, UTA would be able to lower fares by 50% immediately, that would put it at $1.25. As ridership increases, fares would be reduced further. If ridership increases just 50%, fares would be able to be reduced to $1.00.

Even at this level, frequency would be able to be increased on the busiest transit lines which would further increase ridership.

Currently we are averaging approximately 60,000 daily riders on Trax and approximately 70,000 daily riders via bus.

If either the state provided assistance or allowed the Counties which UTA serves to increase the transit sales tax with the requirement that a given percentage must go to reducing and keeping fares at between $1.00 to $1.25 and another percentage must go to increased frequency along the busiest lines. The rest would be used to add BRT, LRT and Streetcars to the district as ridership dictates.

With just the fare reduction ridership would be close to or exceed 100,000 daily riders for both Trax and bus. With increases in frequency, expansion and fare reduction, I think we would be able to get closer to 150,000 daily riders per method each.

Now imagine that congestion relief on the air.

louie
Cottonwood Heights, UT

We also need to give incentives to those who drive more fuel efficient vehicles. Interestingly, in the last few years the incentive to drive natural gas (less polluting) cars has been decreased since Huntsman left office. Governor Herbert and the Legislature do have options.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

None of these sensible ideas will find any traction at all in our reactionary legislature, which believes that it's all fog and "there ain't no pollution." Why do we keep electing these rubes?

Pagan
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.'
(sic)
In Utah, 14 power plants are responsible for 75 percent of the state's direct greenhouse gas emissions, releasing 33 million metric tons. '

And yet…

*'Study says coal burning in Utah kills 202 a year' - AP - Published by DSNews – 10/19/10
*Studies link air pollution to increased risk of strokes and dementia’ – by Amy Joi O’Donoghue – Deseret news – 02/15/12

Let me be clear:

Utah leadership promotes industry and job creation….

at the EXPENSE of the lives and well-being of it's actual citizens.

LDS Tree-Hugger
Farmington, UT

So long as Utahns continue to view and paint anyone "Enviromentally Friendly" as vile, evil, teeth nashing, Tree-Hugging, anarchists, bend on dragging their very souls down to Hades...
This ain't going anywhere.

BTW - It's a Utah cultural thing, and not a Mormon Doctrine thing.
My LDS Leaders and Scrptures tell us to BE enviromentally friendly.

Yet, my kids and I have even been called foul names at church for merely suggesting recycling.

LDS Tree-Hugger
Farmington, UT

Breathing smoke from burning cars,
Breathing smoke from burning cigarettes.

One is considered good,
One is considered bad.
?

That does NOT compute!

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Davis County is often the leader in air pollution. UTA could help out in Davis by making more Frontrunner stops so we can hop on the danged thing. The Bamberger Railroad made more than twice the number of stops and still managed an overall transit time of one hour from SLC to Ogden. But then Bamberger was straight electric (in a drag race today between Bamberger and Frontrunner, the latter would be left in the dust). Let it be stated once and for all, diesel locomotive technology is a poor match to the Davis commuter situation. Nevertheless UTA should consider adding at least a couple of stops.

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

This is quite a difficult problem to address. Midday Christmas we had a 24hr average PM2.5 concentration of 6ug/m3. Right now (as of 11am around 46 hours later) we're at 29.8ug/m3 (Utah Division of Air Quality trend chart for Salt Lake). The air quality standard we're trying not to cross is 35.4 and in a mere two days we've gone from average non-inversion type values to it multiplying by 5 and getting somewhat close to that standard.

The pictures on U of U professor Jim Steenburgh's "Wasatch Weather Weenies" blog post today pretty clearly (pun intended) show how fast we can get in this hole.

innocent bystander
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Still not a word about industry, expanding refineries, mining, coal-fired plants, open burning of medical waste by Stericycle?

People suffer while corporations expand dirty energy etc. as fast as they can, while filling up Governor and legislature's campaign accounts. Crony capitalism thrives and we think the pollution problem is finally being addressed!

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Innocent bystander You are right - the air quality situation is multi-faceted. And South Davis is the center.

VIDAR
Murray, UT

It takes me fifteen minutes to drive to work. And 2 1/2-3 hours by UTA. Also buses are not reliable, too many times they do not show up, and the routes are constantly changing. Until this is fixed, I cannot risk my job with unreliable transportation.

bricha
lehi, ut

marxist and Makid,

Couldn't agree more, drives me nuts when I was researching how much mass transit would cost me, and the total ended up being MORE than I pay in gas and insurance every month. So the only savings come from repairs to the car assuming I were to never use it. I am all for mass transit, even when it is a little inconvenient, but the $198 price tag is pretty steep.

Willie deG
CALGARY, 00

Why don't the coal fired power plants have pollution reduction devices in place that are effective in reducing the greenhouse gasses. I lived in Salt Lake County in 1996 and again 2001 and there was a big difference in the pollution levels back then, but nobody did anything. Why didn't they follow California's lead back then. Well good luck, you'll need it.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I hate to break it to you but... "Utah leaders" can't clean our air. Only WE can clean our air.

Government can make busses and trains cheaper but if we don't ride them... what difference does it make. Busses burn fossil fuels, Front Runner burns diesel, and TRAX operates on electricity generated by burning coal. So just running more busses, trains, etc, even when they are empty doesn't necessarily fix the problem.

We have to stop driving (preferably because we value the air we breath, not just because the government forces us to).

The government can nudge us in the right direction, but until people are willing to change... the government can do all they want but nothing's going to actually change (because we keep driving our cars).

The government can shutdown every factory, but if that just gives more unemployed people more time to drive around town... it won't fix anything.

We need to carpool, etc (because we want clean air, not because we fear the government or are forced to comply).

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City is up to 37.9ug/m3 for the 24hr average PM2.5 so we're back in violation of the national air quality standards a mere two days after an inversion free day.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'I hate to break it to you but... "Utah leaders" can't clean our air. Only WE can clean our air.'

So why do we pay them $175,000 per year?

Emission caps, industry caps, if we followed the example from California, we could have had this solved.

But again, Utah's leadership gets paid $175,000 a year….

to do nothing.

Swiss
Price, Utah

Pagan I am glad you got on target in your second post. Only the people on the Wasatch Front can clean the air on the there. Schmee points out what happened on Christmas Day. Does that not indicate that wood burning even on Christmas Eve and Day must stop. Anyone who still use wood or coal for heating must have their systems updated. Now our friend from Calgary and your thinly veiled attempt to blame the air pollution on the Wasatch Front on all the coal plants in Utah must be challenged. Name the coal plants on that contribute to your air pollution. The coal plants in Carbon and Emery County can't because if you had winds from the east the pollution would also be dispersed. Three of the four plants also have the latest pollution controls.
Next name the industries that need to have there emissions capped. While we are at it find the natural gas electric generation facilities by sight or sound. I couldn't even after I looked them up.
Finally, and not least, consider moving to Milford. They have a geothermal and wind powered electricity. They have broken ground on their solar plant.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'Now our friend from Calgary and your thinly veiled attempt to blame the air pollution on the Wasatch Front on all the coal plants in Utah must be challenged.'

I'm sorry.

Did I 'make this up'…?

*'Study says coal burning in Utah kills 202 a year' - AP - Published by DSNews – 10/19/10

*'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.'
(sic)
In Utah, 14 power plants are responsible for 75 percent of the state's direct greenhouse gas emissions, releasing 33 million metric tons. '

Since I posted date, author, title and source…?

If you are able to post on the Deserert news, you should be able to do a freshmen level, google search.

I think you are confusing 'facts' with 'opinion'.

It is not my 'opinion' that Utah's air quality factually causes health problems and death.

It is a reality.

*'Lung Association slams Utah areas for bad air' - By Amy Joi O'Donoghue - DSNews - 04/30/09

FT
salt lake city, UT

If you can't see what we need to do to clean up our air, maybe you'll have to breathe it.

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