Mayors Take to the Hill for Clean Air
Yesterday, SLCGreen took a trip to the Utah State Capitol for a media event hosted by Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell and the Salt Lake Chamber’s Ryan Evans. The purpose of the event was to voice their support for state and local actions to help improve air quality, and to present a list of recommendations that would result in less air pollution.
Among the actions recommended:
- Initiate a call to action by individuals to lessen single occupant vehicle driving and cold starts (a large contributor to poor air quality).
- Implement a UTA transit pass sponsorship program.
- Share local/state level strategies for others to consider:
- Education everyone on the fact that most emissions come from “cold starts.”
- Provide discounted or free transit passes to employees.
- Have a robust carpooling program, creating preferential parking for carpools.
- Encourage employees to telework.
- Pass parking user costs on to employees.
- Establish no-idling ordinances and educational campaigns.
- Allow for flexible schedules to avoid rush hour traffic.
- Propose a series of legislative/regulatory actions to improve funding for transit and local transportation funding, reducing vehicle use and removing state barriers to more aggressive action:
- Provide additional transit funding by implementing an increase in the local-option sales tax; or by increasing the gas tax.
- Repeal state law prohibiting Utah from setting air quality standards that are higher than federal regulations.
- Extend tax credits for clean fuel and electric vehicles.
- Change state vehicle registration fee schedule to be based on vehicle emissions.
- Adopt additional driving restrictions during bad air days.
- Support regulatory actions due to the new PM2.5 standard:
- New point and area source regulations.
- Trip reduction mandates for companies with over 100 employees.
What are you thoughts on the recommendations listed above? What would you like to see from the Utah State Legislature this session?