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Bad air economics
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

I was born and raised in Salt Lake City and am absolutely enamored with our beautiful state and the lifestyle it provides. When I had to leave Utah for medical school, I was sad and vowed my "exile" would not extend past medical school.

Now I am pondering my next move. Part of me desperately wants to come home, but the disastrous air quality has me reconsidering.

Is this really where I want to spend my adult life and perhaps raise a family? The air quality is unsafe and unacceptable.

The Wasatch Front needs to ask itself what kind of economy it wants to encourage. Should it allow the mines, refineries and freeways to grow? Or should it promote what makes it special — its incredible quality of life and access to nature?

Young professionals like me are naturally drawn to Salt Lake, but the air quality turns many away, at a real cost to the economy. It's not a question of economic growth versus no growth; it's a question of what way we want to grow.

Nathaniel Barusch

Salt Lake City

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