Clean Air

We all breathe the same air

A Real World Solution

Salt Lake County District Four is blessed with a rich history, abundant human resources, and unmatched natural treasures seen from many of our own living rooms. Despite the bounty our people are blessed with, the citizens of our city are not an island isolated unto ourselves.  Take for example the very air we all breathe, which according to several recent studies, is some of the unhealthiest in the country. A recent study published in the medical journal JAMA, demonstrates continued exposure to air pollution, especially ground-level ozone, which is dangerously high for average Salt Lake County residents, is the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for many years. Predictably, the dirty air we breathe often causes emphysema—a lung condition causing shortness of breath that is usually associated with smoking cigarettes and threatens not only our own health but also our children’s health.

In my own cultural tradition, I was taught we are beneficiaries of a divine creation and therefore we should care for the earth, be wise stewards over it, and preserve it for future generations.  As a result, cleaning the air we all breathe is of the utmost importance to me.  Solving the county’s air pollution problem requires us to tackle the problem at both a local and a regional level. Locally, county energy codes can be improved. Green energy incentives enabling homeowners to install solar panels and urban wind turbines in their homes, for example, is imperative. Less obvious but even more important is the insulation we place inside the roofs and walls of our homes and businesses. The greenest and most cost-effective solutions, after all, are those preventing us from wasting energy in the first place. As a result, it is imperative Salt Lake County partner with local homeowners desiring to improve the efficiency of their own homes.

In addition to modernizing our own energy codes, the county’s air pollution problems cannot be solved exclusively by our own citizens and requires collaboration with our neighbors.  If I am fortunate enough to earn my neighbor’s support, I will go the extra mile and forge shared solutions with neighboring communities. Of special interest to me are commitments made by the inland port authority to build a green transportation hub moving large amounts of energy which local homes owners and business are paid to produce and that can then be stored at large facilities in the desert and then later reused to fuel our own cars, homes, and businesses. The regional collaborations I am proposing will not only clean the air we all breathe, but also ensure our district remains a shining city on the hill, setting an example all the rest of our State can emulate.