Let’s Continue the Good Work Cleaning Up Our Air as We Recover

The coronavirus has turned our world upside down in very real ways, and at the same time, it has given us an unprecedented opportunity for a natural experiment to understand exactly what happens when we reduce travel. It has also shown us that with the right preparation, a whole lot of us can work from home. Important data is being collected by the Department of Air Quality and other researchers and we hope that this information can be translated into real policy that will reduce pollution.

Governor Herbert’s office recently released the Utah Leads Together 3.0, the Governor’s comprehensive task force plan to mitigate the consequences of COVID-19. Among the guidelines and recommendations, a theme of “returning to better” weaves through the entire plan.

During the 2019 legislative session, policymakers prioritized $27 million dollars toward clean air initiatives. Leading up to the 2020 legislative session, the Kem C. Gardner Institute released the legislature-commissioned Utah Road Map for improved air quality and reduced emissions. We know that clean air and economic strength are not mutually exclusive ideas. As decision makers consider ways to revive the state, encourage them to follow the governor’s plan to pursue air quality AND economic revitalization together.

Thank your legislators for their progress on clean air and encourage them to support research, incentives, and innovation in clean air technology as a way to “return to better” as outlined by Gov. Herbert’s Economic Response Task Force.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Thank legislators for the work they have done in the past to support clean air measures and funding.
  • Mention the Utah Leads Together 3.0 recommendations for future focus to “Research, invest, incentivize, and empower innovations in alternative vehicle technology development and infrastructure — along with transportation, transit, and other mobility solutions — to improve air quality.” (Strategic Investment Option 8, page 15)
  • Offer to share The Utah Road Map from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute as a reference for future legislation.
  • Do you have a personal story about how better air quality would benefit you or your community? Share it!

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