We should value health over profits

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  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    June 9, 2013 11:58 p.m.

    The cost of burning oil is not entirely included in it's cost. That's not a free market. I applaud Houston for doing the right thing and requiring it's industry to do better.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    June 8, 2013 6:01 p.m.

    Dittos to Dr. Kanner's opinion, although I will fault him on his economic analysis. The health costs he cites (and other costs unmentioned) are a classic case of economic externalities: costs of a product that are not borne by the consumer but by others. He need not demonize profit seeking. It's just that the market is sending the wrong price signals. Fix the market (e.g. by regulations that requires pollution control devices) and the the search for profit in the market will achieve the desired outcome. If he couched those externalized costs as subsidies that the public is providing to the oil and gas consumers, it might be easier to make his case. Let's eliminate the subsidies and make consumers pay the real costs of the products they buy.

    You pay for pollution controls whether you have them or not .

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    June 8, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    Mike Do even read what your write?

    "God gave us the gift of intelligence, some more than others. It's about time to start using that gift."
    That's what cleaner, renewable, GREEN energy technologies are all about -- as you've made note, you stand against it for political reasons - not technical nor business realities.

    If you really wanted to live in a pristine world, oom, you wouldn't work for the defense department. Everything they do causes toxic waste, but they pay your wage, so you look the other way.
    [Turn the other way? Hardly - I'm an engineer Mike. Since I've been working for the USAF 35 years ago - we've re-engine existing aircraft 3 times from the old J-57s to the CFM-56s -- engines producing twice the thrust, and 80% reduction in emissions. We've recently certified ALL weapons systems - including ground equipment - to run on AlGas [algae based fuels] and bio fuels. [btw - Utah State University and the LDS Church have been HUGE supporters in this endeavor.]

    If you should an ounce of integrity concerning the DoD producing toxins -- maybe you should ask yourself why you support unnecessary wars?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 7, 2013 7:06 p.m.

    Baron and oom,

    For most of my youth, I lived in an arid area where people wore scarfs or neckerchiefs to cover their mouth and nose when the wind kicked up the dust. Would you ban driving in those areas because the wind had already made driving a hazard to health? How about the people around Mt. St. Helens. Using your logic, they would be bared from adding to air pollution in that area for at least one-hundred years, based on the particulates thrown into the air by that volcano.

    God gave us the gift of intelligence, some more than others. It's about time to start using that gift.

    If you really wanted to live in a pristine world, oom, you wouldn't work for the defense department. Everything they do causes toxic waste, but they pay your wage, so you look the other way.

    Baron, if all a company looks for is clean air, let them go elsewhere. We live in a bowl. There will never be guaranteed clean air in the Salt Lake valley. We have more to offer. We have honest people. Companies like honesty.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    June 7, 2013 5:45 p.m.


    The blaming of mother nature is an easy cop-out for doing nothing about our air pollution. Just because old photos of SLC show pollution doesn't mean its natural.

    As someone who works in business development, I can attest that we're losing out to new business and industry because of our lousy air quality. The governor's economic development office has openly admitted that business people from out of state who see our bad air are less likely to want to set up branch offices here. Thus, the "air vs. jobs" divide is a myth, and the reality is that air and jobs go hand in hand. Even our legislators have had meetings about the issue -- so our policymakers are aware of the problem.

    If we truly want to make Utah a business and family friend state, air quality needs to be a priority. Business entrepreneurs don't want to set up shop in polluted communities.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 7, 2013 3:21 p.m.

    What happened to the chorus rising up from the mountain tops "drill baby drill".... if your going to drill all the crude, it has to be refined somewhere.... not that it will be in your own back yard... its not such a good idea after all?

    Funny how location changes everything. Sounded like a good idea when Palin was talking about far away places...

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    June 7, 2013 2:39 p.m.

    So long as I keep seeing Utah drivers [many good card carrying Latter-Day Saints] willfully disobeying the laws -- SPEEDING,
    and many others driving gas guzzling SUVs and pretty fancy non-work related Trucks, and SPEEDING --

    We are no where near having done everything we responsibly can,
    let alone being open to the idea of electrics, hybrids, mass transit and future alternatives.

    BTW - Living in a "bowl" does excuse us from living clean,
    if fact - logic and good old common sense - would dictate just the opposite.

    Got a scripture for you too Bro. Richards --
    Cleanliness is next to Godliness,
    God will not be mocked.

    How could you stand before your maker and justify remarks like that?

  • Ben H Clearfield, UT
    June 7, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    Dear Dr Kanner,

    You first. Give up all of YOUR profits, give all of your employees health care benefits, provide for them to take public transportation, do everything you are asking business to do in your letter. Then come and preach to the rest of us.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 7, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    That was a well written letter; however (there is always a "however"), we live in a "bowl", similar to L.A. The "bowl" traps the air and keeps it right here. Look at some old photos of Salt Lake in the winter time when people were burning wood or coal to heat their homes. You could hardly see across the street.

    What is the solution? I don't know. People must drive. Some people could ride a bus. Some people could ride TRAX. Some people could car pool. Would it make a significant difference? I don't know.

    Many of us already do something about the problem. Many of us work from home and "telecommute". I work from home. My wife works of a company that gave her a computer and an Internet hook-up so that she can work from home. My mileage dropped from 60,000+ miles a years to about 1/3rd of that. I still have to service customers' needs.

    Don't destroy jobs in the quest to make the air pristine.

    We live in a bowl. We're always going to have some "smog" - unless we walk everywhere or ride a bike.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 7, 2013 12:51 p.m.

    As long as folks keep voting for folks who that put profits above anything and everything else, little will change.

    And political monopolies are always bad... just ask CA.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    June 7, 2013 7:29 a.m.

    What a great letter, agreed.

    You can either improve yourself [like the folks in Texas did],
    or do NOTHING until the Federal Government steps in and forces you to.

    My bet is Utah Republicans will continue to stick theirs heads in the denialism,
    until the Feds step in and force change --
    and then play the victim martyr card.

    2 years old have a choice we all learn --
    Clean their own messes,
    or face the rath of Mother.

    It's time Utah grow up.
    We don't Mother micro managing us.

  • Trapped in Utah heber city, UT
    June 7, 2013 1:20 a.m.

    I sooooo totally agree with this letter. Lets probe deeper though into UDEQ. How is it that over 7 (YES I SAID SEVEN) years ago ATK Promontory was told to produce a health Risk Assessment for Open Burning of Hazardous Waste and still no health risk assessment has been produced AND DEQ allows them to not only keep burning chemicals but the burning has expanded? Until the State of Utah AND DEQ puts protecting public health and the environment before corporate profits the quality of lives in Utah will continue to decline and be harmed.