Comments about ‘Letter: Air quality’

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Published: Tuesday, Jan. 7 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT
Some people can just deal with reality and the world as it actually is... and realize that we actually NEED refineries. That doesn't mean they want the dirtiest air possible.


I actually agree with you,
but --

Having what? 4-6 refineries,
in an inversion prone,
high mountain valley,
filled with 2 million people,
mostly children,

doesn't mean that businesses and SUVs can do what they,
when they want, and how they want.

That is called "regulation" and some "conservativs" are against any and all regulation regardless the impat to humans or the enviroment -- business rules, and money is the ultimate God.

Durham, NC

@2 bits - I agree with you, moving the plants is probably a no go from a cost perspective. Granting them permission to expand on the condition of overall reduction in emissions is a much more pragmatic solution.

But the rest of the rhetorical tung twisting is a bit silly. Why does driving cars mean that you must settle for pollution. There is nothing scientifically that requires this sort of bi-polar decision. And simply because something is done a certain way now, does not mean it is the best way forward. These either or discussion just creates false arguments.

We can have cars, jobs, and industry.... and clean air and water.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

When you get into "Regulation"... the question I ask is... where do you draw the line, and who get's to control whom?

Do I get to control you? Or do you just get to control me?

Is it OK to control people just because their environmental opinions aren't radical enough? Who do we get to regulate? Anybody who's not as radical about environmentalism as me? or as radical as you? Where is that line? Would you be OK if we decided Conservatives could control/regulate you? Or is it only OK if Liberals are doing the controlling/regulating?

You can't say "Liberals can regulate Conservatives" using environmentalism as their tool... but freak if Conservatives try to control you with their morality as their standard. Environmentalism IS a moral issue.

That's the main problem with regulation. There must be a line. I think that's the only place we would disagree.

Environmentalism is a moral issue. Some appreciate being beat over the head with your morality and regulations as much as you appreciate being hit over the head with their religious morality and moral-regulations.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

This is not make believe. How can you drive your car without gas? How do you get gas without refineries? You can't just pick them up and move them outside the valley. Even IF you could... that would just cause MORE pollution (the same pollution from the refining process PLUS the added pollution to truck the gas to the valley).

The refineries would still be creating the same amount of pollution... just somewhere else. And if that location is still in the Great Basin... the air will eventually end up trapped in the valley.


I think we would get a bigger bang for our buck if we just outlawed driving (instead of moving all refineries far enough that they won't pollute the Wasatch Front). Heck... Then the refineries would close too (becasue there would be no demand for their product).

But neither is going to happen. We can't outlaw driving. And we can't banish existing refineries.

The reality is... we can't drive without gas. And we can't have gas without refineries. So including some restrictions on driving (not just banishing refineries) seems like it would be a good thing to consider.

Morgan, UT

Excellent letter.

We are dealing with the same people who've tried to push the bogus "science" of global warming on the planet. Every thing liberals do is agenda driven. They have never met an industry they've not villified, and had as their mission, the desire to destroy it.

Leftists always need an "evil" corporation, or other entitiy they dislike in order to push yet more regulations on the American citizen. Just wait until Dear Leader pushes cap & trade on this nation via the EPA. Energy costs will go through the roof, and our nation will continue to decline economically and technically.

We are currently witnessing what unbridled liberalism (socialism) brings upon a nation.

Pleasant Grove, UT

Air-polluting cars:
Why drive them, when we could be
Riding unicorns?

Phoenix, AZ

"If you don't want to live in weather-related inversions, there are plenty of other places to live."

True... you could move to cities like Chicago where it's -70 wind chill... or in other Midwest states where your house can be blown away in a wind storm.

Durham, NC

@2bits......you said "The refineries would still be creating the same amount of pollution... just somewhere else."

Ummm.... not sure how many turnarounds you have actually done, but I have done more than a few..... and most of those facilities are OLD. I know it hard to imagine, but there are actually newer and cleaner ways to do things. Part of any expansion is to bring grandfathered assets up to current standards, and in the process, produce less emissions. There are multiple was to improve technologies that can aide in optimization of the operation in catalytic reforming process, optimize the fluid catalytic cracking, or even reduce excess oxygen present in the flue gas, reducing the amount of incomplete combustion. This is just a start.

If you had read carefully, I agreed, moving the facilities is not economically viable. But to say a net new facility would pollute the same just is false, very false.

And to your comment that we need gas for our cars... today... yes - mostly. Tomorrow, not so true. To say the technology of 100 years ago is our only option and we are stuck it lacks just a little bit of vision... to say the least.

Salt Lake City, UT

Most of the writers in this blog fail to understand that climate is both global and very local. Establishments such as the refineries, Rio Tinto, and Stericycle affect the region, but they also affect much more acutely their immediate neighborhoods. No one knows for sure what the full impact of these establishments is on their nearby neighbors, and the establishments don't want to know, and indeed don't care. This is the great dilemma of environmental epidemiology - we don't know the full impact of the pollutants because the science has not been done. As to the culpability of these establishments, conservatives would say innocent until proven guilty - leftists would be more inclined to be cautious and say guilty until proven innocent. Or in other words we should error on the side of caution.

The effects of pollution may be evident in the future when the casualties have already occurred. I have directly experienced such.

Jeff Bowles
Salt Lake, UT

The responses to my letter are pretty much what I expected. I must be an uneducated, Mormon, gay hater who works for big dirty industry and loves dirty air. I am surprised somebody didn't find a way to call me a racist. Unfortunately, this just shows the stereotypical name calling that liberals always use to denigrate anybody with a different view. I'm college educated, self employed, parents were both Democratic, and have no religious affiliation. So how about we deal with reality. Either the head of air quality for Utah lied by stating inTV/newspaper interviews that the air has improved for the last twenty years or he is correct and it has improved.If he lied then we should be going after him for the coverup. If he is telling the truth, then Dr. Moench isn't telling the truth. Simple question, who is telling the truth? And unless you are not driving a car, heating your home, or using any lights, then your use of fossil fuels is just as bad as mine. What makes your use different from mine?

Jeff Bowles
Salt Lake, UT

"No one knows for sure what the full impact of these establishments are on nearby neighborhoods". Kennecott and the refineries have been here for 50+ years. How much longer do we need to wait to see if there is a cause and effect? Has the medical/government been hiding the results?

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Jeff Bowles
Salt Lake, UT
"No one knows for sure what the full impact of these establishments are on nearby neighborhoods". Kennecott and the refineries have been here for 50+ years. How much longer do we need to wait to see if there is a cause and effect? Has the medical/government been hiding the results?

8:22 a.m. Jan. 8, 2014


Utah [Salt Lake in particular] has an Autism rate 4 times the national average.
Autism has been linked to mercury,
mercury has been used by Kennecott,
is emmitted by burning fossil fuels.

Cause v. Effect.
But I guess it's not a problem or doesn't happen if YOUR kid isn't the one ruined for life from it.

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