This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Re "Declare health emergency in Utah due to smog, docs say" (Tribune, Jan. 24):
Our business-before-people governor will never declare a bad-air "health emergency" and do what Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment wisely proposes:
• Reduce freeway speed limits to less-polluting 55 mph.
• Make mass transit free.
• Order industrial polluters, including Kennecott and the oil refineries, to cut pollution in half.
• Close businesses that burn waste.
• Ban wood burning.
• Ask businesses to accommodate telecommuting and reduce employee driving.
Instead, next week the Legislature should pass a bill to take effect immediately that when our bad air reaches a certain level, TRAX and buses are free, and they are paid for by an automatic 10-cent gas tax and a tax on industrial polluters.
That automatic carrot of free transit and stick of higher taxes could significantly change behavior and our air. And we wouldn't have to impotently beg our wimpy governor to do what is right.
Salt Lake City