Letter: Rolling back air standards is bad for Utahns’ health

(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Smoke from wildfires burning across the western U.S. is worsening air conditions on the Wasatch Front, as seen in downtown Salt Lake City Wednesday, September 6, 2017.

Unfortunately, the recently announced White House plan to roll back federal clean car standards is bad for Utah’s air quality, public health and the best interests of consumers.

Utah is a nonattainment state for air pollution. Vehicle emissions are the single largest contributor to our air quality problems and resulting adverse and costly health impacts.

Federal clean car standards reduce millions of tons of carbon emissions and save Americans millions of dollars from fuel efficiency. They also help keep America's auto industry competitive in a world market that is quickly transitioning to cleaner cars.

By contrast, rolling back the standards and revoking states' right to create their own standards — which has been in place for decades — leaves the auto industry exposed to years of regulatory uncertainty from lawsuits. It also flies in the face of consumer interests by increasing costs and reducing vehicle safety and ignores the right of 35 percent of the U.S. vehicle market in states that have adopted the California emission standards to address dangerous levels of pollution and save lives.

Utahns should urge the EPA and DOT to keep the clean car standards that received broad support upon adoption and that benefit consumers, the auto industry, labor, public health and our air quality.

Andrea Himoff, Park City

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