Greg Bell: Utah needs — and deserves — real air quality change

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  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 18, 2019 8:22 a.m.

    The low hanging fruit has been picked.

    Seriously, the state wants to give out cash incentives to remove lawn mowers? Our inversions are in the winter, how is that going to help? People will game the system and get paid to replace their old lawnmower or snowblowers they were going to replace anyway.

    We need a careful cost benefit analysis done all these proposed measures so we are not picking from the states money tree that could actually be better spent on roads, education, medicaid expansion, etc

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Feb. 17, 2019 12:55 p.m.

    Our Republican legislators are fond of pointing out that 50% of the pollution comes from the little people and their cars as they malevolently drive to work so they can pay taxes.

    But what about the other 50% that admittedly comes from the big choking pollution sources that nobody seems to talk about? Is it because they donate big bucks to legislator pockets?

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Feb. 17, 2019 9:44 a.m.

    Clouds can form at 1000 feet from sea level, Utah's elevation is 4,000 feet above sea level. How much of the stuff we think is smog is just water vapor.

  • lehiguy Lehi, UT
    Feb. 17, 2019 5:59 a.m.

    If Utah’s cares about air quality why did they just impose an additional fee to license electric cars? Seems to me the state should encourage electric car use. Also, it’s time to pass state wide emissions testing and start to more aggressively seek out emissions violators. I’m hopeful Utah and it’s residents may finally be ready to tackle this issue.

  • No One Of Consequence Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 5:18 p.m.

    Where was UCAIR on the air-polluting potential of the Inland Port?

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 10:31 a.m.

    The devastating effects of air pollution on cardiovascular and pulmonary health should not be referred to as bad or annoying, but simply unacceptable. Utah has been a national leader in protecting the public from drunk drivers, now it is time to protect us from polluted air. The solution may be costly and inconvenient, but it is mandatory.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 5:31 p.m.

    I appreciate the author, Greg Bell, conceding that urban Utah's air quality is improving even as our population grows, and is better than at any time since air monitoring began in the 1950s.

    Read those facts carefully:
    1-Utah's population has grown tremendously.
    2-Utah's urban air quality is better than at any poing since air quality monitoring began in the 1950s.
    3-Utah's urban air quality continues to improve.

    But everytime I read demands for new measures to improve air quality I think of the Tortoise and the Hare. We've made all the big changes: Geneva is closed, We've converted from wood/coal to natural gas, etc. We are now left with incremental improvements where cost vs benefit must be carefully weighed to get best results.

    At best, UTA has done nothing for air quality. At worst, the opportunity cost of building fixed rail has resulted in worse congestion and more pollution since we didn't build better roads.

    Replacing wood burning stoves is a big hitter. Tier 3 gasoline will help.

    We ought to look at incentives to convert cars to CNG which is much cleaner than any gasoline.

    After that? Giant fans and not encouraging population growth in urban areas.

  • Brett AA Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 2:46 p.m.

    As a conservative I realized about a decade ago I was being inconsistent in my values by excusing air pollution as just a necessary evil or somehow make the claim that the free market would fix the problem. Then I was honest with myself and admitted that it is not conservative to allow me not to pay for the full cost of my choices. In this case I drive and send a by product out into the public space and not have to pay for it. It would be the same as it being legal for me to dump my trash and used oil in a river or lake. Everyone else gets to suffer the consequences of my choice. Further, air pollution hurts the most vulnerable such as the elderly, child and the sick. The is not moral in my view. We should be aggressive and always should have been aggressive in mitigating the costs of our choices. I 100% support what the Governor has proposed and even more aggressive policies. I would like to see more focus on moving the state and citizens away from gas and to electric vehicles.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:48 a.m.

    Let them come to a rural area that desperately needs a greater tax base and jobs. Don't put them on the Wasatch Front.

  • Sharkey Layton, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 9:23 a.m.

    Then do not turn SLC into an "inland port" or give Amazon incentives to come here. Those sorts of emterprises are certain to push our air quality over the edge. Who is going to fund the infrastructure (roads and airports) that those businesses will require? People who make $15 an hour have tax credits and get refunds. They don't pay anything.

  • sgallen Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 9:10 a.m.

    I moved away from Salt Lake because of the air. I’m lucky in that I have the option of living almost anywhere. It will be interesting to see if Tier 3 fuel makes a large enough difference to overcome population growth.