Bad for the lungs, bad for business • The joke around feedlots, chemical plants and other things with awful odors is that, at least to the owners and workers, it just smells like money. Praise is due, then, to the Salt Lake Chamber leadership for seeing through that smog and recognizing that what's bad for a community's health is also bad for its business climate. At a Chamber-sponsored panel last week, local leaders faced the fact that the Salt Lake Valley's frequent bad air days, particularly the smog-trapping inversions that plague us every winter, are a major strike against the area in seeking to entice new businesses. And, rather than call upon the government, or someone else, business leaders outlined steps they can take, from building energy-efficient plants to transit-oriented siting decisions, to solve the problem.
Chaffetz and Lee's good visa bill • Utah's Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Sen. Mike Lee have worked hard and had a surprising amount of success with a bill that, while far short of the comprehensive reform that is needed, is an improvement to America's outdated immigration laws. Their bill would remove the caps on the share of 140,000 highly skilled worker visas that can go to the citizens of any particular nation. The result would be more clever, job-creating entrepreneurs and designers coming here from India and China, and fewer unclaimed visas waiting for citizens of other countries who will never come. The bill passed the House last week on a bipartisan 389-15 vote. It was expected to pass the Senate, too, before Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, placed a hold on the legislation. Now we will see how effective our young lawmakers can be in getting a good idea turned into a good law.