How should Utah use the $100 million earmarked for air quality improvements? Experts weigh in

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  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 1:43 p.m.

    I have a hard time believing someone who can spend $45k - $100k for an electric vehicle is going to change their mind because they are asked to help pay for the roads they use. Saying that fee is going to deter people is totally disingenuous.

    The single mom driving a ’92 corolla to her three jobs pays a gas tax to support the roads she uses, but the wealthy environmentalist screams because they are being asked to contribute the cost of 2 lattes per month, lattes the single mom cannot afford. Cry me a river!

  • Florwood American Fork, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 1:23 p.m.

    How about increase UTA funding from the special funding and have them make public transit free December through February, when pollution is often at its worst?

  • Flipphone , 00
    Jan. 10, 2019 10:19 a.m.

    Will $100 million dollars eliminate high pressure systems?

  • dell Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 9:07 a.m.

    Everyone always talks about what government needs to do. A big contribution large employers could make is to offer shuttles from Frontrunner/trax stations direct to their offices for both employees and customers to make mass transit much more convenient. Of course, govt could subsidize these and multiple businesses could share a shuttle. Employers could also provide an "errand car" at the office for transit users that need to run somewhere during the workday.

    Once ridership goes up UTA could electrify Frontrunner, double track it and run the trains at 120-150mph with express trains that get you from Provo to SLC in 20 min. But it's the "last mile" shuttles that would make the biggest difference in convenience.

    Getting 1 truck to switch to Nat Gas is worth 50 cars. The port of LA recently added a $20 fee for diesel (nat gas and other) trucks to pick up cargo there. If Utah used a carrot and stick approach for semi's and other large trucks to switch to natural gas it could make a big difference.

  • kolob1 Sandy, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 8:44 a.m.

    Put the money with the Tobacco money Utah received from the tobacco companies' lawsuit. In other words spend it on building and rebuilding more roads. Heh?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 7:54 a.m.

    The sad thing is that all of their plans are useless. Since 11% of pollution comes from power plants and big industry even if we were to use that money to eliminate 50% of the pollution from the valley, that would reduce pollution levels by less than 6%.

    How about this, if we take that money and make a huge bulk purchase from Tesla and buy $100 million worth of cars and do an exchange with people for those cars. That would be about as effective as anything they are proposing right now.

  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 7:51 a.m.

    I say give it back to we, the taxpayers. Let the never ending complainers move somewhere more suitable for them.

  • cthurman , 00
    Jan. 10, 2019 6:30 a.m.

    Cars are the issue. Why won't anybody have the conversations of getting more electric and natural gas cars on the road? Instead of taxes there should be incentives to buy and drive these type of cars!

  • cthurman , 00
    Jan. 10, 2019 6:22 a.m.

    Why won't anybody have the conversation about what really causes the problem, cars? Incentives need to be given for Natural Gas and Electric Vehicles. If we get more of these cars on the road this is going to make a bigger difference than anything we can do. Instead of giving credits for these type of vehicles the government wants to tax them? People are not going to give up their cars, but they would drive Natural Gas and Electric Vehicles in incentives were there.

  • PhxAggie Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 10, 2019 5:38 a.m.

    All this talk about bike lanes, as if that will significantly increase people biking to work. It's too cold in the winter and professionals in ties and dresses will not bike to work. How does government make the infrastructure work better as the population explodes? Manufacturing plants should be encouraged by state incentives to locate in rural areas where they won't pollute the Wasatch Front and encourage growth in those areas. Let's think outside the box instead of more bike lanes.

  • J. Smith Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2019 5:16 a.m.

    Enforcement of NO fireplace burning of wood laws.....

  • Truthczar Colorado Springs, CO
    Jan. 9, 2019 10:02 p.m.

    Eliminate the state income tax.
    Florida, Texas, Tennessee, etc. reward their workers and retirees. So should Utah.

  • Kralon HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA
    Jan. 9, 2019 9:04 p.m.

    "Carter cited a 2018 UCAIR poll which revealed that 52 percent of Utahns want to do their part to improve air quality, but only if it’s convenient and saves them money."

    If you calculate the true cost of pollution, including healthcare, deaths, sick days, etc. it quickly becomes evident that almost any reduction saves money.

  • Brad Peterson South Ogden, UT
    Jan. 9, 2019 5:19 p.m.

    I don't know why people keep dreaming up new ideas, the DAQ already has a list of actionable items that give the most bang for the buck.

    87% of the inversion pollution comes from vehicles and area sources (like homes and businesses). Only 13% from industry.

    Vehicle pollution is largely figured out with Tier 3 gas and Tier 3 vehicles. Now we just have to get older polluting vehicles off the road, they're the problem.

    Area source pollution is the big problem going forward. We started to figure it out with low NOx water heaters. But we need to target other area sources next. This will likely also require expensive changeout programs.

    Industry is given inordinate focus in the latest EPA nonattainment recommendations, and they're only 13% of the pollution.

    Mass transit is a red herring, only 2-3% of the Wasatch Front population uses it. Doubling mass transit doesn't make a substantial air pollution dent, but would cost a ton of money.

    New power plants outside the Wasatch Front are also a red herring, they don't affect our Wasatch Front pollution one bit. So why so much focus on Beaver County?

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 9, 2019 4:59 p.m.

    The front runner should be converted to double track to make it more convenient.