Salt Lake, Ogden Mayors Join in Call for State to Address Dirty Air

Local community leaders hope 2013 will be the start of cleaner air. Last week,  Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker joined forces with Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell to call on the state to do more in addressing Utah’s dirty air.

Poor Air Quality isn’t a partisan issue, it’s a problem that affects every Utahn. That’s why Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker was up at the State Capitol Thursday calling on the state to take a closer look at what can be done.

“This winter as I see the press we’re getting nationally about the toxic cloud, I feel a little embarrassed for the region. For a whole variety of reasons, we need to take more steps and better action to address air quality.”

Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell joined Becker saying if more is not done to address the issue the state stands to lose some of the national recognition it has received in the past.

“We’ve all known that Utah has been recognized by Forbes three years running as one of the best economies in the country and we believe that will go if this is not an attractive place for people to come and spend their lives.”

The two are asking the state to look at things like amending the state constitution so additional gas tax revenues can go directly to transit.

They’re also asking the legislature to look at changing the  state vehicle registration fee schedule to a mileage-based system.
 
But ultimately they both say it all comes down to education. Here again is Mayor Caldwell.

“There is not magic bullet, no miracle piece of legislation or science that is going to come out and take care of this. It is up to all of us to be the change that we want to see in the Wasatch Front.”

Becker and Caldwell say they would like the state to devote more resources to educational campaigns on causes of our poor air quality, the health effects and solutions to improve it.