We are all suffering by living in a county that during peak periods has among the worst air in the nation. Pregnant women, children, the elderly and those with asthma suffer the most.
Over the course of the last two months I’ve had a chance to engage with hundreds of central committee members. The issue of concern that is expressed most consistently is our poor air quality!
I strongly believe that leadership from the Salt Lake County Mayor on this issue can make a difference. Like most issues, there is no one solution but as Mayor I will prioritize clean air.
I have already acted. Years ago, as a Council Member I was the first to require LEED building standards on County buildings and I have supported the County’s progress toward a cleaner fleet, cleaner operations and the advancement of sustainable technology. I am a member of the Wasatch Front Regional Council and serve on the Active Transportation Committee where I have worked to expand bike lanes and active transportation throughout our region. You can learn about some of the work we do here, http://wfrc.org/committees/active-transportation-committee/#1492203600322-07b5ef37-04aa.
I prioritized this issue during my run for the U.S. Senate. I spoke out against Trump’s outrageous reductions in EPA standards and specifically against Trump’s efforts to make tailpipes dirtier!
MY CLEAN AIR ACTION PLAN
New Office of Environmental Action: If elected as your mayor I will create an office of environmental action. I will staff this office and assure that we are fully implementing Salt Lake County’s authority and leveraging its resources on this important issue. The office will coordinate with the Salt Lake County Health Department to further advance solutions.
Advocate: While the state, not counties, have regulatory authority on clean air standards, the bully pulpit and creation of the new “Office of Environmental Action” will advance the collective effort between governments, industry and partner organizations such as UCAIR.
Policies to Tax Polluters and Reward Conservation: I will advocate for policies that levy a fee on polluting industries and reward those who act to mitigate poor air. By making our roads capable of rate adjustments based on time and type of vehicle, we can encourage use on non-peak times and discourage use when our air is the worst.
Incentives for Responsible Citizens and Business: By levying a fee on polluters, we can develop substantial programs that reward citizens and business that adjust operations to support cleaner air.
Grants: Salt Lake County will seek additional funding through national and local revenue streams and grants to support its environmental programs.
The Inland Port: I will engage immediately upon my election in the Inland Port process and speak out and leverage the authority of Salt Lake County against elements of the port’s operations that worsen our air.
Cutting Edge Solutions: Science most often is light years ahead of government in finding solutions. It takes political leaders to seek innovate, creative and comprehensive solutions. I vow to be such a leader on this important issue. California has made measurable progress towards cleaner air. Why can’t we?