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Published: Friday, Feb. 7 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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E Sam
Provo, UT

First rate letter! Good, specific suggestions.Well done!

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

All 3 of these would help. But we gotta quit expecting the Legislature to fix our problems for us. The Legislature is just 29 people. There are nearly 2 million of us. If the legislature car pooled to work it would save a little. If we all car pooled to work... it would save a lot. These are things we can do TODAY (not next week, not next year, not in 2017).

These are solutions that don't require any more laws and regulations on the people. It just requires people to be smart enough to regulate themselves.

I don't know why some always look to the Legislature to fix their problems... when you are 100% capable of solving your problems yourself. When individuals take small actions... collectively there is a huge impact. Because instead of 29 people doing something (that may work) there's 2 million people making a small contribution that we know will work.

And if some don't cooperate (because they won't do it until there is a law forcing them to do it)... at least we get some benefit even if only 1/2 (one million people) do it.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

We live in a society where "one size" does not fit all. How many of those who burn wood can afford to use gas? Are you going to make those who are too poor to heat their homes with gas freeze? Car pooling is great if you work at a job with exact hours, but how many of us don't have those kinds of jobs? How many have to work until the job is done? How many of us have to travel from location to location all day long? Yes, if car pooling is a viable option, it should be used. Some of the lucky ones in my family have 9 to 5 jobs. They already car pool.

Why not put a "Sorry, the valley is full" sign up on all roads leading into Salt Lake Valley? Why not deny all new building permits in Salt Lake Valley? After all, if no one lived here, there would only be the natural pollutants that have been here since Lake Bonneville drained.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

This really should be a no brainer....

but,
Change is hard for Conservatives,
this is called PROGRESS --
and they tend to be anti-Progressive.

I remember the same crying and belly aching when the mean old nasty Gv'mnt
made them take LEAD out of Gasoline too.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

These are highly rational proposals, which are highly unlikely to be given a hearing by our Legislature. Thanks to the letter writer for the good thoughts, but no chance.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Open Minded Mormon,
The letter is not to Congress... it's to the Utah State Legislature.

The Utah State Legislature is not Congress... so the word play on Congress and Progress are funny but not very relevant. But I get what you're getting at. Progressive = Good. Conservative = Bad. I get it... I get it. And if you can link one side with Congress (which everybody has bad feelings about now days)... all the better.

IMO... All this partisan bickering is nonsense when it comes to clean air. We ALL want clean air (not just Progressives). We ALL want clean water (not just Progressives). We just think different methods will work (some want more liberty, others want more restrictions).

This is not a political-partisan topic (IMO). Why try so hard to make it into one?

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

======

1. know who it is addressed to.

2. Utah only has to meet Federal "Minimums" -- States are free to pass tougher restrictions anytime they want.
Look at California's Emmission standards for an example.

3. Conservative WANT clean Air and Water -- but are consistantly dragged into it kicking and screaming every inch of the way. Tell me, what do you or your side Propose? Anything?? More stonewalling, obstruction, and lack of ideas for improvement from the Party of NO.

4. I stand by my historical fact of presidence of a lack of change set by Conservatives with the perfect example of taking Lead out Gasoline, Thank You.

and

5. Don't EVEN get me starting on their reluctance and apprehensions of using the Metric System.

Thinkin\' Man
Rexburg, ID

Yep, let's hit our economy with heavy penalties. Great idea.

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

Good letter Nancy. However, based on these responses and what I hear from the legislature hill it will be amazing if anything will ever get done. At least, when we have decided the gas masks are inadequate we can leave much quicker with an 80 mph speed limit.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Open Minded,
Who got you started on the metric system? It wasn't me!

But about your assumptions (based on your stereotypes).

1. How do you know everybody who opposed the metric system was "conservative"? Could some non-conservatives also been opposed?

You make these assumptions about people. Like if they resist the metric system (therefore they are conservative). They didn't like unleaded gas (they must all be conservative). They are flashing their lights at me and flipping me off for driving slow in the left lane (they must be conservatives)... but you don't know that. That's just your "assumption".

When you live your life thinking your assumptions, your labels, and your judgements (based on your political stereotypes for people)... are reality... I have to wonder how in touch you are with reality. Our stereotypes and prejudices aren't reality.

I don't remember when unleaded gas went away, but I don't think it was a political issue.
I remember resistance to the metric system. But again... It wasn't a political issue.

I think you put too much credence in your hard and fast political stereotypes of people (that's not "Open Minded").

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

It becomes very hard to enact these types of reasonable and common sense reforms when you are bought and paid for by big oil. Big oil has our legislature in its back pocket. Who looks out for our us if our government refuses to?

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT
Big oil has our legislature in its back pocket.

====

Great point --

I got me thinking about the refineries just down the hill from the Utah State Capital.
Maybe there is an alterior motive as to why they don't want move out in the desert --
ala, out of sight, out of mind...

Like Bill Clinton wearing Monika's tie before her court appearance.

A constant and subtle little visual reminder as to who really holds their purse strings come re-election...

Who's your daddy?!...

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

There's a book that everyone should read. It was given to me by someone who posts here frequently. I asked him for some advice about doing work similar to what he does. Instead of answering me, he gave me a copy of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert M. Pirsig. He asked me to read the book before we talked about business "stuff". It's a terrific book that gently challenges us to think about why we get "uptight" about things.

That book changed the way that I look at people and at how people solve problems. This topic, about air quality shows that there are people who want to do their part and that there are people who want someone else to fix everything for them, just like in the book.

If we expect to solve the problem ourselves, we need to show everyone our personal list. If we expect "government" to solve the problem, we need to see "government's" list, its costs, and its impact on everyone. After we see the lists, we can intelligently discuss the issue.

RWSmith6
Providence, UT

It's all about solutions to an impressive problem, isn't it? Do whatever we can to lower emissions--refineries, smelters, and other high emitters included along with those who leave their engines on unnecessarily--and we've made big progress. Keep thinking economy, and we end up shortchanging the future in Utah's inversion-prone valleys, bowls.

Allowing legislators to do the heavy lifting is a mistake. They're not up to it. Youy an I are, however.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Great letter, spot on.

Mike Richards: Given your business needs, I would think that you should still be able to travel around and get your job done... but possibly in a vehicle that has significantly cleaner emissions. Certainly you can see that driving around in a coal-powered steam car (an exaggeration for illustration) would be a very selfish act, right?

Well, if your car/truck cannot meet higher emission standards, you may need to invest more in your equipment. The airlines have had to reduce the noise their airplanes make for a long time, in graduated steps. The old jets that sounded like the Space Shuttle taking off no longer meet the noise abatement requirement.

And 2-Bits and others are exactly right when they ask what individuals can do voluntarily to help. One thing that 2-Bits said recently really rang true - we have too many people in these valleys, too close together. If they move the prison, maybe it should be green space.

Improving air quality will require a broad mix of efforts, sacrifices, smart policies and some economic pain. There is no free lunch.

Grover
Salt Lake City, UT

MR: Both the gas and electric utility has programs to help people with trouble paying for their bills. "Reach" and "Lend a Hand" both collect from other bill payers for those less well off. You probably have seen the envelopes in your bill, Mike. Also there as tax payer subsidies available to install more efficient heating systems in houses. Hence the argument that to as people to stop wood fires during high pollution days and nights is not too punitive. Everyone has to give to solve the problem.

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