This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.
Temperature and gas prices are dropping, but air pollution is increasing. We can do better by encouraging clean energy like the newly revamped Cove Fort geothermal plant. Demand our representatives do something. We want energy, but we need clean air and water.
The problem's understood, but without legislative action we're forced to try mandates like this month's Supreme Court case that could lead to tougher regulations on pollution. This approach only results in prevarication and procrastination like Utah's PM 2.5 attainment plan that only hopes for cleaner air by 2019 through untested assumptions.
Yes, switching energy sources and expanding our transmission grid is complicated and expensive leading to hesitation and denial. As Sen. Jim Inhofe said "I was actually on your side until I found out what it cost. If climate change wasn't so expensive maybe I'd believe it."
That's under the income taxing system, but as former Rep. Bob Inglis said at the Hinckley Institute: It's possible if we "unleash the power of free enterprise for clean air and energy." Please look at http://www.carbontax.org.
Taxing pollution in contrast to income could bring thousands of new jobs to Utah with projects like harnessing the power under the Black Rock Desert. Clean energy will not only clear the air it could provide a second wind for our research and manufacturing industries.
Salt Lake City