Oil refineries around Salt Lake City, and Kennecott/Rio Tinto, want to expand their operations, promising to not increase pollutants from current levels. They could reduce emissions, but they won't because they base their decisions on calculations to maximize profits: If fines for violations are less than the cost of upgrading pollution controls, they'll pay the fines, public health be damned!
Sixty percent of health-damaging PM2.5 fine particulates in the Wasatch Front's air comes from automobiles; 40 percent from industry. Therefore, Gov. Gary Herbert concludes, the solution is to encourage drivers to use public transit.
This is the easy answer, but it will not work because our public transit network is woefully deficient. For most, it is not currently a viable alternative to the automobile. Therefore, public transit should be planned and aggressively built.
Let the planning start now! And start dealing with the 40 percent pollution from industrial sources now!
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