The guest commentary of Feb. 17 by Brad Dee, Utah's house majority leader is merely another indication that the so-called Utah leaders care little about the health and well-being of Utahns, but are good at lip service ("Real solution to air quality"). Bad air is a major issue and health concern. Mr. Dee claims 57 percent of pollution comes from vehicle emissions, and only 11 percent from industrial sources, therefore industrial pollution is not a problem.
His solution parrots the mantra of Governor Gary Herbert that the solution is less use of automobiles. Yes, a lot of pollution comes from vehicles, but these measures are only a small part of the solution. Utah encourages auto use by pouring vast amounts of money into roads and highways, evidenced by the earmarking of a portion of sales tax to go towards highways. Local governments allow housing developments further and further away from work or recreation activities.
He wants more use of public transport, but that is unrealistic given the lack of adequate schedules and spending on non-transport activities. There needs to be better planning for public use.
UTA has reduced service and hours on many routes with the claim of inadequate operating revenue. Funding for highways needs to be reduced, and those funds used to upgrade and bolster public transportation. In the same article, he does not recognize the need for reduced industrial pollution. Industries have basically been given a ticket to pollute. Examples: the approval of Kennecott expansion and approval to allow area refineries to double their operations without an enforcement of even today's lax standards.
In summary, we all (including industries) need to be more environmentally friendly and do our share for pollution reduction.
Don R. Carlile