Use alternative energy sources to clear air

Monday , June 09, 2014 - 3:43 PM



In Utah one only needs to look at the haze towards the mountains to recognize that we need to improve air quality. Most see the air plan as discussed in article “Utah leaders criticize air plan” as a fix to an environmental problem that will fail. As the article points out, the national goal of reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent over the next 15 years comes as an outrage to many who currently rely on the low cost of energy provided by coal as this goal can hurt the job market and escalate energy costs.

Instead of looking at the problem from a the point of view of stricter regulations and higher costs, which only escalates the debate further, how about we change our thinking of the problem, that is having consumers and providers think about how to make renewable energy as cost effective as today’s status quo?

As pointed out in the June 2 Associated Press article, “Obama’s proposed carbon rule: Surprise winners, losers,” the nation has already made great strides in reducing emissions. As jobs involving coal mining and processing decline, jobs in renewable energy will increase. This paradigm change presents an opportunity for businesses to team up and provide training for current coal miners in aiding in the harvest of renewable energy. Government and businesses can leverage the new regulations by providing incentives to consumers to seek alternative energy such as natural gas and solar by providing credits and subsidies.

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Another effort ongoing in Utah is producing a new liquid fuel based on natural gas that can reduce fuel costs. Rather than resisting the change, people and businesses should be encouraged to find ways to make this work as this is the direction the country is now going in.

Philip Nelson


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