I am disheartened with the Legislature regarding air quality. The Feb. 8 article, "Lawmaker expects strong and aggressive action on clean air" excited me. Reading it showed the title was hollow. "We'll try," doesn't get it. "I think we'll take some efforts to try and help with air quality," doesn't get it. Putting it on residents to look at the type of vehicles they drive doesn't get it, and saying, "I don't know what the bill is going to look like. How do I deal with that?" doesn't get it.
The commitment we need to hear and trust is, "Legislators will see that Utah quits polluting our air."
A couple of years ago, I suggested that Utah legislators adopt some of California's vehicle emissions requirements. After some waiting, I was told that vehicle emissions have little to do with our air quality. The Feb. 8 article, however, states, "More than half of the emissions associated with inversions this winter have been linked to commuters...." Let me renew the request: Let's get committed to study and adopt some of California's rules.
California's air was terrible in the 70s. Since then, California dramatically improved its air quality.
And, how is this for embarrassing? Brian Williams, NBC, recently broadcast a piece on national news saying of Salt Lake City that it is "one of the prettiest spots in the country...this is the nation's dirtiest air."
"What we are exposed to now is like...forcing all members of the community to become active smokers."
"We have a real health crisis on our hands...ER's are seeing a dramatic rise in patients with breathing problems."
Legislators, bite the bullet and adopt rules from California that will substantially lower the vehicle emissions, or create our own! If 45 days is too small of a window, call a special session.
KSL's radio show discussed costs of clean air. Take a 40,000 foot view the problem. Utah is a top destination point for winter sports, and skiing brings people here from far away. Consider the costs of cleaning up the air as an investment in tourism. Do the math. Come on, you guys!