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Show backbone, guv

Published June 8, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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

Re "Clean-car standards win Utah air board endorsement" (Tribune, June 6):

Vehicles account for half of Utah's emissions. We can't clean our air without reducing them. Simple as that.

So, hurray for the Environmental Protection Agency's Tier 3 proposals to cut by an incredible 80 percent the nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds — the "big contributors to Utah's summer ozone problem and winter smog" — and cut by 70 percent "the fine soot that plagues our valleys during inversions."

And all for a penny a gallon for new lower-sulfur gas and $134 added to the cost of new car. Seems like a no-bainer.

Yet Karma Thompson, of Salt Lake's Tesoro refinery (and a member of the Utah Air Quality Board), and Lee Peacock, president of the Utah Petroleum Association, counsel "caution." That's like listening to a representative of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. urge caution about banning cigarette smoking on airplanes.

Caution? Breathing our air on red-alert days is similar to smoking 5-10 cigarettes a day! Follow the health experts, not the manufacturers of bad air.

Gov. Gary Herbert, show backbone. Speak for the people, who elected you, not the polluters, who paid for your campaign.

Josh Eliot

Salt Lake City