Utah's brand in the mind of Americans must be the great outdoors, not the nation's dirtiest air. Not only does our economy depend on that image, but our lives.
Gov. Gary Herbert and the Utah Legislature need to get serious solving this problem with a long-term program to reduce pollution. I propose four elements:
1. Increase the gas tax to fund expansion of mass transit and to make its fees very attractive.
2. Make it economically and administratively easy for high density residential and commercial development in transit corridors, especially along TRAX routes and shopping and employment centers.
3. In five years, require all automobiles to meet Los Angeles' emissions standards. That gives people time to prepare.
4. Require polluting industries to incrementally cut emissions in half in 10 years.
It such a bill were approved, we would not only change our national image, but the reality, too. We don't need any more kicking the pollution can down the road. Act now for a better future.