Our district includes four major ski resorts and is impacted by more visitors than Zion’s National Park. We need to find the best balance for our canyons between access and preservation. For seven years I have followed bills involving air, water, and natural resources. I am familiar with the issues and will always work for that best balance.
The Utah Legislature commissioned the University of Utah Kem Gardner Policy Institute to study climate and air quality. The resulting Utah Roadmap clearly outlines best practices, which include an expanded electric vehicle network and active participation in national discussions about how to harness market forces, and new technologies to reduce carbon emissions in a way that does not negatively impact Utahns. Now the legislature needs to follow these recommendations, which is a priority for me.
During our red stage of COVID-19, with very few cars on the road, all of us could actually see clear, bright spring skies. Air pollution reduces the average Utahn’s life expectancy by two years, and air pollution is the number one reason businesses leave our state. We can maximize improvements to clean air made possible with Tier 3 gas by incentivizing carpooling, telecommuting, and increased LEED buildings. In the last few years, the federal government has decreased environmental regulation in ways that concern the auto industry, many businesses, and citizens. In 2018, the Utah Department of Air Quality asked for legislation giving it power to set higher standards that those set by the Federal Government in an effort to address the specific problems created by our inversions. The legislature didn’t grant that ability then, but it is vital we do so now. I will join the bi-partisan Clean Air Caucus and work tirelessly for clean air.