Legislators shun data
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

In his 2013 State of the State address, Gov. Gary Herbert stated that "52 percent of the pollution during inversions comes from tailpipes." One would thus expect our lawmakers to enact legislation that encourages cleaner transportation.

I consequently sent them two reports with Environmental Protection Agency data comparing electric vehicles and compressed natural gas vehicles: "Utah Air Quality and EVs" and "How Do EVs and CNGVs Compare?"

Those data are indisputable: When one tallies the pollution and greenhouse gases, from both tailpipes and upstream sources, EVs are the cleanest. Utah therefore needs to increase its paltry $605 incentive for EVs to the $2,500 awarded to CNG vehicles.

Nonetheless, last week our Utah legislators passed HB96, which retains those inequitable incentives. Why?:

1. They didn't even look at the data.

2. They looked at the data, but didn't understand them.

3. They looked at the data, understood them, but didn't believe them.

4. They looked at the data, understood them, believed them, but care more about subsidizing the natural gas industry than improving Utah's air quality.

Shame on them! The next inversion, remember that our legislators had the facts right — and chose to ignore them.

Mark D. Larsen

Ivins