After an ugly rally against air pollution at the state Capitol, Utah's minority party has come forward with a coordinated assault on the Wasatch Front's foul air. The problem, after all, is shared 50-50 between industry and commuters.
The five bills put foward by the Democrats on the Hill are a great place to start real action on reducing the pollution that has put northern Utah cities at the top of the nation's worst air lists.
Rep. Marie Poulson would provide individual income tax credits for the purchase of UTA passes.
Rep. Patrice Arent would require state agencies to develop a plan to reduce activities that cause air pollution.
Rep. Joel Briscoe wants free UTA passes provided during January and July, the two months of the year when Utah’s air quality is the suckiest.
Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck will lift restrictions on Utah environmental regulations so that more stringent rules can be put in place.
Rep. Lynn Hemingway would require industry to use the best available technology and equipment to scrub emissions from air.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems with any of the bills' passage in the Lege is more about who sponsored them (Democrats) than what they say. There's no such thing as a D good idea on Utah's overwhelmingly Republican Capitol Hill.
That, of course, raises a question: Why didn't the Republicans sponsor a clean-air bill package?