Letter: The U.S. should adopt a market-based policy to control air quality

Utah’s inversion problem has created many health issues for my family. Two of my children had childhood asthma directly related to the quality of air, causing them to use medicine and a nebulizer. I’m a professional singer; bad air days affect my ability to be able to perform. I’ve had to purchase expensive air filters and personal masks to protect me from damage caused by bad air quality. That’s why I was so relieved to read about a commonsense plan to clean up Utah’s air and protect our environment.

An op-ed in the Deseret News by Heber City Mayor Kelleen Potter and Midway Mayor Celeste Johnson discussed a new poll that showed Utahns of all political persuasions want to address climate change. They described a “carbon dividends” solution that has earned support from businesses and environmentalists because it would incentivize clean tech innovation across the economy.

It’s time the U.S. adopted a smart, market-based policy to control carbon pollution. We’ve seen in Utah how ineffective it is to tackle this problem one city ordinance or efficiency standard at a time. Years later, we’re arguably worse off with inversions still driving vulnerable populations indoors in winter and a growing ozone pollution problem in summer.

I applaud Mayor Potter and Mayor Johnson for putting forth a realistic plan that would not only drive down emissions but also help ordinary people and the economy. That is a true breakthrough solution. Let’s seize it and solve our environmental problems for good.

Jana Conrad