Comments about ‘Letter: Doing my part’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 20 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

Gary Herbert and Utah's "leaders" spent hundreds of thousands on those signs on the freeways telling us to "drive less and carpool for cleaner air"! Isn't that a great way to spend our tax dollars?

Typical Utah leadership...Build Eight lanes of freeway and then tell people not to drive.

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

And of course we wouldn't want to tread on anyone's rights....Why should someone driving a twelve passenger gas-guzzler have to pay their fair share??? I'm guessing many if not most Utah legislators drive gas guzzlers. There should absolutely be a tail-pipe tax in this state, but who would dare propose that.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If you want legislators to represent you, you just have to give them the same level of "donations" as the corporations do.

Trapped in Utah
heber city, UT

Thank you for your efforts. If only the polluting corporations would be good neighbors.
I've noticed that the "little guys" in this State are the ones always asked to make sacrifices (whether it be individuals or small companies) while the large corporations appear to have a blank check as to what they do. What good are their jobs if they are harming the people? There is so much more the large companies could do to reduce pollution. Unfortunately they don't appear to want to do it voluntarily. They appear to be here simply to plunder.

Provo, UT

Mayor Becker says companies won't come to Utah if we don't clean up our air. I say, good! Pollute more so people will not come. We don't have the water for more population.

Fortunately, we suffer dirty air only a few weeks out of each year.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

We live in a bowl where air, including polluted air is trapped. Did the Governor "build" this bowl? Is he responsible for nature?

Utah is part of a complex society. It's wonderful that some people can walk to work. It's wonderful that some people can walk to the grocery store. Most of us can't. My closest customer is twelve miles away. My next closest customer is 40 miles away. Neither are on a TRAX or FrontRunner line. When those customers call, I have to respond, which means that I can't form a carpool and I can't take multiple buses to get to them. That's life. In order to feed my family and to pay my bills, I have to drive a great many miles every year.

If those who complain about pollution would thank God for the beauty of this valley and the beauty of the mountains around us, maybe they would focus on those things that are important instead of moaning and groaning about how wonderful it would be if they and they alone lived in this valley.

Bountiful, UT

Thank you for doing your part! There's no question that tail pipes are a major source of the problem, and we need to alter our behavior when a higher system begins to trap the air in our valleys. Everything to this point has been voluntary, but one way for us, the consumers to reduce emissions would be to lower the speed limits on our freeways during inversions.

I see way too many people still driving at 80 on the freeways, out of sheer habit. If those signs above the freeway said "Due to Air Quality, Speed Limit now 60 mph" it would help curb behavior for the benefit of us all. Having UHP handing out tickets will drive the point home (so to speak).

I'm seeing more & more people use the masks on their faces when they go outdoors, and as we start to see more photos of people doing this, and it starts to hit businesses, tourism, and puts a dent in our perceived high quality of life, THEN our leaders will have the courage to curb industrial pollution.

Common citizens have limited influence, but other businesses have a voice that's heard.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

You hit on the only real long-range solution to the problem (less people living in downtown SLC).

This valley has always had the geography it has, and the weather it has. What is new (and has coincided with the increasingly bad air on inversion days) is the increased population.

A lot of people are going to need to do what you suggested (and move out of the area) if we are to actually solve this problem. SLC and the suburbs are growing too fast.


Industry is part of the problem. But they aren't the whole problem. They can't solve the whole problem.

Industry can and should make improvements (but the problem will remain).

As long as the population in the valley continues to increase at the rates it has for the last 5 decades... the problem is going to continue to increase (even if we got rid of all industry).

More people means more homes, more furnaces or fireplaces, more cars, more schools, more roads, more refineries (for their cars), more industry (for their jobs). You can't have the population growth we've had in a valley like this without air problems.

Salt Lake City, UT

Mike, even people who have to drive for a living can do something about air pollution. I assume you drive an ultra low-emissions vehicle, like a Prius, right? You can "thank God for the beauty of this valley and the beauty of the mountains around us" from the driver's seat of a low-emissions vehicle perhaps better than from the driver's seat of a gas guzzler, because you will be showing God that you are a wise steward of His creation.

Provo, UT

You people on the Left make me chuckle. You move to Utah because it is family friendly, has a great economy, and enjoys a low crime rate. Then you get busy trashing the Conservative leaders and people that make it such a great state to live in. You have my blessing to leave at any time it becomes unbearable.

salt lake city, UT

Come to the Clean Air, No Excuses Rally at the Capitol January 25th at noon. This is the message more than a thousand citizens intend to share with our lawmakers. Your letter is spot on, thanks for writing.

American Fork, UT

For all the good your request did you might as well suggest an increased minimum wage. We're going to come down on the side of big business every time.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

What's wrong with government regulation?

What's wrong with stiffer penalties for industry which refuses to even meet basic EPA standards?

What's wrong with special tax breaks and programs to encourage people to conserve and use green energy?

Why must we always cater to big pollution? Oh yeah, because they contribute more to our legislature and AG than others. If the Swallow debacle has proven anything, it's that our local government is up for sale. The people are losing out while big industry and payday loan lenders are winning big.

Rather than relocate the prison, why not relocate the refinery?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah


Surely you know that coal is used in Utah to generate the electricity that powers a Prius. But your idea is good. Why not tell it to UPS, to FedEX and to the trucking companies. Sure, why not use 200 people each pushing a wheelbarrow to carry the cement that one truck can carry?

Not everything fits in a Prius. I use a truck most of the time because the truck is the most efficient way for me to carry everything that I need to service my customers. Making four or five trips in a Prius to do the same job as carrying everything in a truck and making one trip would be counterproductive.

Simplistic solutions are just that - simplistic. It's easy to sit at a computer and complain, but complaining never solved any problems.

Why not advocate nuclear power plants? Why not have electricity so cheap and so plentiful that we could use all-electric homes? Why not make it so cheap that industry could use that electricity for all processes that now require fossil fuel?

Why not ride horses or bicycles?

Sandy, UT

@Mike Richards. So your solution is to do nothing. I would expect nothing less from the republicans in this state.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

In the summer time forest fires and in the winter we have to keep worm every one has a fire in their heater. Summer time dust is blown every where in the winter smoke is stuck in the boll. All you can do is your best. I heard yams are good for your lungs.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Real Maverick,
The main problem with government regulation is... when you expect the government to solve the problem for you, by forcing somebody else to do it your way... it rarely works.

We need to do things for the right motivations. Not because the government is forcing us to live the way a more radical environmentalist would like us to live.

We need to drive less and conserve more because it helps our own life and the environment... not because the Government has its boot on our throat and insists you do it the way the more radical elements in our community would like you to do it.

It's the same dilemma you always have when you decide the only solution is to use government regulation to force people to do it your way...

Like seatbelts etc (you won't do it just to save your life... there has to be a law first, and then you might do it to avoid the ticket). Same with helmet laws, pollution regulations, etc.

When government force is the only motivation... it doesn't really work. You only buckle up when you see a cop.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

RE: "@Mike Richards. So your solution is to do nothing"...

I don't think Mike Richards said, "do nothing". In fact he gave a list of things we could do. So I don't see how you twist that into him saying, "do nothing".

"Opinion" isn't putting words people didn't say into their mouth and pretended they actually said it (a strawman).. Reread him and you'll see he didn't actually say, "do nothing".


Just because what somebody suggests isn't as radical as you would like... doesn't mean they said "Do Nothing".

To find common-ground... we must overcome the assumption that if somebody's not quite as radical as you are... they want to do nothing. It's not an all-or-nothing thing. It's a spectrum. He's just at a different point on the spectrum than you are.

I think as long as people are coming up with ideas (even if they aren't as radical as we would like)... we don't pretend they said, "do nothing".

Nobody thinks we should "do nothing". We all know we need to do something. We may just disagree on how radical to get.

Centerville, UT

It is interesting to note, The CO2 emissions have decreased in the US by 20% over the last so many years. Not because of a carbon tax, yet we still hear a call for a carbon tax to decrease CO2 emissions. Punitive taxes do not equate to better out comes.

Provo, UT

With the closing of Geneva steel, Utah valleys air is much better that it was in the mid 70's. And that's with thousands of acres of green chopped down for homes and parking lots.

The only real solution is to modify the basin that Northern Utah sits in, or realize that the population here has to be controlled,and dirty business is not attractive anymore.

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