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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy joined Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker Wednesday to call on local businesses and institutions to cut energy waste and air pollution.

"Air quality issues are typically associated with vehicles, and rightly so. But along the Wasatch Front, 32 percent of winter air pollution is from sources other than cars, and much of that is from energy consumption in our buildings," Becker said during a media event on the roof of the city's Main Library, announcing his Skyline Challenge.

This multi-year competition strives to reduce citywide building energy use by 15 percent by 2020.

McCarthy is in Utah this week meeting with Gov. Gary Herbert and his staff to discuss measures aimed at curbing air pollution. She is also on a media tour to bring attention to the Obama Administration's forthcoming proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

During her three-day visit, she will view urban energy efficiency projects and meet with business leaders to discuss their efforts to promote sustainability.

Brian Maffly