Thank you, Deseret News board, for having some insight to nudge our legislature
and governor to take badly needed action! All thinking Utahns should appreciate
your editorial. Like many responsible citizens, I want to pay more taxes in
order to breathe clean air. I agree with Ezra Taft Benson that we should
“avoid pollution.” I long for a Governor who takes the health of his
own children and grandchildren to be important. I seek a Legislature which seeks
to improve the quality of life in our state. I hope to find more citizens who
understand words like “long term,” investment in the future, and
understand the need to pay for such things. And yes, I want solutions like
wise Californians who long ago raised the standard of fuel efficiency, and who
agreed to pay for what the desired. Foresight and pay as you go is a wise,
conservative idea so that costs do not become exorbitant further down the road.
Too many Utahns have bought into the idea of putting off the future for a
wasteful present. I want higher taxes now, an idea that is reality-based and
will reduce illness and deaths in the coming years.
I bet this issue goes away (at least until next winter) now that warmer weather
is approaching. Though, I wonder how much the air quality would
improve if people walked to church instead of driving (2 or 3 blocks max along
the Wasatch front)?
I know we need to do something.... but I'm not sure this is the
solution.I've been told that the new Teir-3 fuel is more
expensive and less efficient (cars get less miles per gallon than current fuel).
Is that true?We need to know more about this before we jump on
it.#1. Will it solve the problem?#2. How will it impact
the poor?Or is it just something to make us feel good?
One of our local refineries has already made the upgrades to produce Tier 3
gasoline which is being shipped to the State of Washington where it is required.
All new cars are going to have to meet Tier 3 standards in the future. If you
choose wisely you can buy one today.
Kudos to the Deseret News for writing so clearly and convincingly on the need to
adopt Tier 3 standards. As a physician, I see the health effects of our air
pollution. It is estimated that 500-1,000 deaths occur in Utah yearly from air
pollution. The problem is that this can only be shown by population studies. If
a person suffers a fatal heart attack. one does not know if that specific attack
was caused from air pollution. We only know this from studies, like the ones BYU
Professor C. Arden Pope has done. But the effect of air pollution is real, and
an increasing population will only make it worse. Now is the time to adopt all
of the recommendations outlined in this editorial. Ultimately we must transition
off of fossil fuels and maintain our civilization on clean energy, but we
can't wait for that transition. We need cleaner air NOW!
I remember when Utahn were forced to start buying cars with "California
Emmissions" when the auto industry started making them standard on all
models.Mileage is going to drop, The engines will wear out
faster, It's going to ruin America and economically kill us...Boo-Hoo.None of those things happened -- NONE of them.Therefore, I don't believe Conservaitves and their "End
of the World" scenarios now either.
I've seen mirages, I kinda know how the optical illusion happens with
different air temperatures. I think we are going to be taxed for air. Haze and
Utah needs to clean its air.+++++Fine let's begin
doing this by raising taxes on fuel efficient automobiles.
The only place I have been that has worst air pollution than Utah is Beijing,
China. That is how bad the pollution is in my opinion. I have visited the state
of Utah in all seasons and it is getting worse everytime I am there. It is
definitely time to make a change.
The increase in tax should be done through fuel. Families that make an effort
to reduce emissions through alternative transportation (walking, cycling,
electric, etc.) should not be required to pay more taxes......
Excellent editorial! It is long past due for our state government to do
something proactive to clean up our air, and kudos to Deseret News for taking
them to task!
Yes! Thank you. Utah could implement the Federalism it keeps talking
about by initiating the Tier 3 gasoline transition as soon as possible, and well
before the EPA. Making transit more readily available - and
hopefully less expensive for the riders - is another great step forward. A third initiative which would help significantly is endorsing a
national and/or state carbon fee to help encourage even cleaner fuels and
transportation behavior. We have the opportunity to take the lead,
the initiative, to clean up our air. It's long overdue.Thank
you, Deseret News.
mcdugall- I don't believe i said that, I did say we should be careful how
we will impact those who can least afford the cost. I also said consider the
unintended consequence of what you do. Because of the CA Air Resources Board,
California is very regulated and if you do go the route of CA don't have a
board of unelected bureaucrats put into place regulations that are hard to
overturn or appeal. I'm all for cleaner air and the way to achieve it
incentive people to make the changes.
@procuradorfiscal - So, the Utah Department of Air Quality, not known for their
"liberal" agendas, i.e. Holley Refinery, Stericyle, etc, and the EPA are
wrong in their analysis, but you are correct? What are your thought on Stericyle
being moved to Tooele?
Re: "Republicans in this state keep insisting cleaner air is a Hoax
perpetuated by Democrats for higher taxes . . . ."Yeah, and so
do honest Democrats. Because it's true.The dirty little secret
this opinion piece fails to mention is that no outrageously expensive reduction
of the already-miniscule levels of sulphur, NOx, CO, ozone, or VOC emissions
will have a noticeable effect on visible air quality during valley
inversions.Rather, it's just another liberal scam to punish
mobility and increase taxes.
@CPA Howard - So, basically whatever the cost, you're against improving the
living conditions of the residents of the Wasatch Front? There is more, than
just the formulation of the fuel, to the high fuel costs in CA, to suggest
otherwise is nonsense. A .004 cent increase to the sales tax is too much? So
the improvements are not worth the costs? Imagine how toxic the air would be
without the regulations.
Does this mean we can stop putting ethanol in our cars which ruins the engines
and decreases the gas mileage? Also I would be a tad skeptical about any EPA
projections, aren't the seas supposed to be lapping at Nevada by now?
@Michael Roche.Apparently there are various studies about the cost to
consumers of Tier 3. The American Petroleum Institute sponsored a study by Baker
& O'Brien that found the increased cost would be 6 to 9 cents per
gallon. A study by MathPro,sponsored by the International Council on Clean
Transportation, said it would be 1 cent per gallon. Navigant Economics in a
study commissioned by the Emission Control Technology Association, also said the
cost would be about one cent per gallon.
But -- Republicans in this state keep insisting cleaner air is a
Hoax perpetuated by Democrats for higher taxes, Cleaner Air standards are
not necessary - because God sends the winds to blow it to another place, and the GOP lead State Legislature just voted to INCREASE the Speed Limits.apparently -- Utah's Clean Air Act only applies to the 0.1% of
Utahan who use tobacco, The other 99.9% lungs of the rest of can handle
If Tier 3 is the answer why does California still have unclean air. The cost of
cleaning the air will be borne by those who can least afford it. In CA our gas
is ~ 50 cents per gallon than Utah because to hit tier 3 levels we have
specially formulated gas that is only produced in CA. The cost to build a new
refinery is so high, its been over 30 years since the last refinery was built,
so every time a refinery goes off line, gas prices shot up 5 to 10 cents a
gallon.I agree public transit is the answer, but not with an
increase to the sales tax because it hurt those at the bottom where the marginal
value of the dollar is higher to someone at the bottom vs the middle class.Be careful where you go with because with every government program there
are unintended consequences. CA setup CA Air Resources Board to regulate air
pollution. Even though the air quality has greatly improved, its not enough and
will never be enough. They micro manage to the point the fire pits at the
beaches in LA and Orange county are being removed.
Perhaps the easiest and most cost effective way to help our poor air is to
greatly incentivize Hybrid, electric, and natural gas vehicles. Alas, the
legislature wants to punish this by increasing by raising taxes (fees) on these
vehicles. This makes no sense at all.
Boy -- did the Deseret News editors step over the popular opinion on this
one!Don't they realize out-of-state businesses, citizens and
tourists can't or won't bribe or lobby out State Legislature, OR
that REAL Patriots and REAL Conservativesseriously think pollution
and better air quality is all just a HOAX used by the Democrats to win votes?
I was just reading how Tesla is searching for a location for its proposed $5
BILLION battery factory for its electric vehicles and associated solar company
(Solar City), and Utah was not in consideration because Tesla is seeking a place
where it can procure significant amounts of renewable energy immediately to run
the factory. Ironically, its seeking our surrounding states -- Arizona, Nevada,
and Colorado (as well as Texas) -- mostly all RED states that are rapidly
growing their renewable energy industries for the 21st century.Once
again, Utah's dirty air and "day late, dollar short" attitude on
renewable energy has lost us another opportunity for economic development. Utah
is ranked as one of the best states for solar, but we're too focused on
20th century fossil fuels, hoping oil prices continue to go up so that we can
develop our dirty, water-intensive and expensive tar sands for high-priced oil
when surrounding states are moving on to 21st century technology. Maybe if we're lucky, we'll attract another nuke dump or coal mining
machine factory or some other laggard 20th century energy industry to keep
"the flame" alive on old energy of the past...
Can you cover the costs of Tier 3 standards in more detail? You make the
benefits sound great, but gloss over the costs. If refineries must pay more to
refine fuel to Tier 3 standards, then they will pass the costs on to Utahns by
increasing fuel prices. Can we estimate the price of Tier 3 standard fuel
relative to less-refined fuel? Also, if auto makers have to add equipment to
cars to meet Tier 3 standards, auto makers will raise car prices. Cars with the
new equipment will also probably lose fuel efficiency. Can we estimate how much
these changes will increase car prices and decrease fuel efficiency? Also, what
happens when a Utah resident buys an out-of-state model or drives an older car?
Will he have to retro-fit it with Tier 3 standard emission-reducing
equipment?I hate our poor winter air quality as much as any hippie.
I just like to know the trouble I'm getting in to before I vote for change.