Grim forecast means little cheer for skiers, residents with respiratory problems
This happens every year. We get a bad inversion and people complain. There are
calls for something to be done, for legislation to be passed. Then, by the time
our Utah legislators are back in session, our air clears up and complaints
disappear. Nothing gets changed and we forget about it until the next winter.
Want to improve the air quality? Prosecute anyone who "chips" their
diesel.Chipped diesels produce well over 1000x more pollution than a
regular diesel. If an owner is caught "rollin coal," (firing off
massive amounts of black smoke) by chipping it - confiscate the truck and crush
it. Put it on YouTube. A reduction in black exhaust will follow.
Guaranteed. If you make chips to defeat diesel emissions, beware.
Lobby the legislature to pass new law allowing no corporate veil for protection
if you make chips designed to defeat emissions standards. Call it a corporate
hate crime.Finally, create incentives for those who drive
CNG-powered vehicles. The EPA calls them cleaner than any other vehicle on the
planet (including Teslas). Utah has a pretty good CNG filling station matrix.
Give people who drive CNG vehicles something back. Give any alt-fuel owner a
benefit. It is fair. Everyone single one of us breathe. Every one
of us benefits from cleaner air. Push greater incentives for driving clean-air
I'm a reasonable person that wants to help air quality. But when one of the
answers is take mass transit and that means doubling or tripling my commute time
and spending at least 2x what gas costs, I'm out! Why would I do that for
the minuscule incremental difference it would make? And if I don't why
would everyone else? If the state/county/city governments want us to get serious
about air quality, maybe we need to pony up a little money to pay UTA to reduce,
or even eliminate, fares on low air quality days. They can put the winter fares
on a sliding scale to match the PM 2.5 levels. If it was a red air day and the
fare for Frontrunner was less than the cost of gasoline for driving, I would be
willing to give up some of my downtime to take the train and manage the
significant inconveniences of a mass transit commute. Right now though my sense
of altruism can't compete with the costs in time, money, and convenience.
Gotta get Trump’s coal scrubber going so we can get that clean coal he
promised. Every little bit helps.
Argue all you may about what, why or how the air quality in SLC and many other
places has become so degraded. What I want to know is what are you going to do
about it? Or is doing nothing an option?From the apologetists on
the right, I would gather that doing nothing is the favored alternative. Just
how does that sit with everyone else?
@Baron Scarpia"All this talk of air pollution. Porn and booze
are far more deadly, and upon which our politicians and religious leaders should
keep their focus. At least our air is not as bad as China's!"You really want to use China as our pollution measuring stick? That's
like saying "well, at least my hair is better than Donald
Trump's!"No, I want to talk about air pollution, not just
porn and booze. The reason is that people in this valley can choose whether or
not to partake of porn and booze - they can't choose whether or not to
partake of polluted air. If people want to ruin their lives with porn or booze,
that's their decision. But pollution is an indiscriminant killer that also
happens to prey on the most innocent in our society (children and the elderly).
All this talk of air pollution. Porn and booze are far more deadly, and upon
which our politicians and religious leaders should keep their focus. At least
our air is not as bad as China's!
Know wonder I have been feeling faint. I stopped holding my breath and feel a
I think that someone forgot that teeny little issue of the smoke from the
Siberian forest fires raging across the Pacific and dumping their smoke right
into our valleys. There certainly is an issue with living with a few million
other friends in two connected bowels. I live at just over 5,000 feet in Lehi
and sometimes we are above the inversion layer and sometimes below, but that
layer would still be there even if we all drove Teslas or Leafs or Bolts. I
owned a Leaf in GA before I moved here and I loved it for local travel. It was
in no way overly expensive as reported in the article. I switched from paying
$350-$400/month in gas for my daily commute to paying about $40/month. That
alone pretty much paid for the $250 car payment, and the garage in the house we
built here is ready to support charging a Tesla Model 3 when they are available.
I'll be able to drive all over the area, never visiting a gas or charging
station (and across the nation with Tesla's array of charging locations). I
wish that writers would discover the facts before they mislead readers. The
real answer is a mix of the best of all differing solutions.
Vehicles should be built that are fueled by natural gas as the standard model
and if you want a gasoline engine, pay more. They have it just backwards. This
could be legislated, just like years ago when California was the first State
with requirements for pollution standards and catalytic converters on all new
vehicles. But it will never happen....
I really don't like the word sustainably.
Check your air filters! Ours was only a month old, and was already
caked with dust. The result: our furnace was working harder than it needed, and
not moving a whole lot of air through the house. Same goes for cars--both engine
filters and cabin filters. Clogged filters in cars and furnaces make those
machines run longer and work harder, resulting in more fuel used, more
pollution, and more junk in the air we all breathe. Purchasing an electric car
may not be in the cards for most folks, but a $10 air filter will easily pay for
itself, and your lungs will appreciate it.
Electric cars are still overly expensive with limited range and long refusing
times.Compressed natural gas, in contrast, performs roughly on par
with gasoline while burning 50 to 90% cleaner depending on what specific
pollutant you look at. Natural gas is also plentiful domestically and
particularly here in Utah.Sadly, it is tough to find a CNG or duel
fuel car from the factory and EPA regs make conversion kits needlessly
costly.CNG is a great mobile fuel. Nuclear generated electricity is
a very good fixed energy source.Aggressively advancing both would
reduce pollution while also reducing our dependence on mid east oil. That would
improve our national security.
The 48 percent figure of vehicle pollution does not take into count the
temperature. As temperature decreases area source pollutants increase. Why are
we not advocating for lower thermostats to limit secondary PM 2.5 material that
develops from our gas furnaces. If everyone lowered their indoor thermostat by
Two degrees we would breath easier.
Interesting that as pollution gets worse the legislature has cut the state tax
credit for electric cars, and now congress in considering doing the same.
There are a lot of costs to all of us when more and more combustion engines are
added as the state grows without end. I hope we can use incentives to help get
more electric cars on the road. Meanwhile shale drilling continues unabated in
the basin.On a flight into SLC yesterday I overheard several people
commenting on the gross air as we landed. Pollution is going to catch up to
Utah sooner than later.
@NoNamesAcceptedSouthern California wildfires were being fueled by Santa
Ana winds blowing east to west, not a trajectory that directly leads to smoke
blowing to Utah. A couple months ago when we had the nasty air quality days with
all the wildfires in the northwest that was the overwhelming source of the
issue.A portion of the pollution in our wintertime inversions (kind
of varies by situation) does come from outside sources but by itself it'd
be a slower growth to get to some of the air quality thresholds. Roughly half of
our local sources for this pollution is from vehicles.
What proportion of Wasatch Front pollution is from fires or other sources upwind
in Cali or Nevada?In other words, if every last human moved out of
Utah and all human activity ceased, what would the air quality be along the
Wasatch Front this week?