Comments about ‘In our opinion: Utah needs clean air fuel standards now’

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Published: Sunday, March 2 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Michael Roche
Provo, UT

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.

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

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...

LDS Tree-Hugger
Farmington, UT

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 Conservatives
seriously think pollution and better air quality is all just a HOAX used by the Democrats to win votes?

slc, ut

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.

CPA Howard
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

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.

LDS Tree-Hugger
Farmington, UT

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 the pollution.

Centerville, UT

@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.

Provo, ut

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?

Murray, UT

@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.

Tooele, UT

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.

Murray, UT

@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?

CPA Howard
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Gerald Elias
Salt Lake City, UT

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!

slc, UT

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......

The Deuce
Livermore, CA

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.

Bountiful, UT

Utah needs to clean its air.


Fine let's begin doing this by raising taxes on fuel efficient automobiles.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

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 illusion.

Samuel the Liberalite
Farmington, UT

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...


None of those things happened -- NONE of them.

I don't believe Conservaitves and their "End of the World" scenarios now either.

David Folland

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!

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