Air quality is a primary concern among a strong majority of residents along the Wasatch Front. While we have made great strides in reducing air pollution, there is still a lot of work to be done to clear the air. This is why we should support the ZEV legislation mentioned in the op-ed from March 28, “Are you paying for your neighbor’s Tesla?”11 comments on this story
The author argues that through the zero-emission vehicle credit system, Utahns would be subsidizing other people’s electric vehicles. They argue that the cost benefits are too great to bother with the program, no matter how many electric vehicles it would bring into the state. This misleading argument from a Koch-funded organization ignores the fact that the costs of the ZEV program are negligible, particularly when compared to the cost savings of reducing air pollution.
The estimated national yearly cost of air pollution was a staggering $131 billion in 2011. In Utah in 2013, the total charge for hospitalizations for asthma alone was $47 million. That does not include additional significant costs associated with other respiratory illnesses and diseases exacerbated by our poor air quality. The health cost of air pollution is the true financial burden on all of us in this equation.