Billy Hesterman’s op-ed “Utah can’t afford a new energy tax” claims that a carbon tax bill offers “no measurable environmental benefit.” I beg to differ.

One thing every resident in northern Utah can measure is the winter smog that chokes the mountain valleys for days, sometimes weeks on end. According to a study by the University of Utah Health and Intermountain Healthcare, air pollution trapped along the Wasatch Front by winter inversions is estimated to send more than 200 people to the emergency room with pneumonia each year. It is estimated that 7 million people die each year from air pollution.

Nearly 50 percent of Utah's urban air pollution comes from tailpipes. By discouraging the use of dirty fossil fuels, we can significantly reduce the costs and health impacts we experience every winter along the Wasatch Front. I encourage Rep. Mia Love and all members of Utah’s delegation to vote in favor of the proposed carbon tax bill.

Kelly Francis, Salt Lake City