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From: Kim Webb Reid
To: Rep. McKell, M.,
Subject: air pollution
Date: 2014-01-09T06:58:59Z
Dear state leaders,

Please do all in your power to limit refinery expansion in Salt Lake County that will cause increased air pollution along the Wasatch Front and Back.

I'm 33 and normally healthy, but during every inversion cycle I suffer from respiratory problems and headaches. I can only imagine the widespread loss in productivity if even young, healthy people like me are so affected. 

My family's long-term plans include moving out of state, thanks in no small part to the seemingly worsening air quality during the last two years. I love so many things about Utah and have lived here all my life. I don't want to leave, but I feel irresponsible raising my child in an obviously toxic environment.

It is my feeling that the Wasatch Front will continue to lose well educated, contributing citizens who recognize the real damage air pollution causes if Utah leaders don't demonstrate how committed they are to improving the situation. I recognize it's a complex issue with no easy solutions. I simply ask to see greater evidence that government leaders are taking the health threat seriously.

For example, after two of Salt Lake's worst inversions, allowing increased oil production and all it entails (refinery expansion, more tankers on the road) shows disregard for the average Utah citizen's health and quality of life. I, for one, would rather pay higher taxes to see refineries moved elsewhere and have my physical health preserved.

I often hear the argument that because of our geography there is no possible way to improve our air significantly. I would rather see government leaders asking what we can do differently to work with our unique geography rather than using it as an excuse to do so little. If our geography makes us especially prone to inversions, shouldn't we have the strictest emissions limitations in the nation?

I ask you to please consider carefully the competing interests of the few who will profit from increased oil production and the many who are already suffering ill effects from out-of-control air pollution. I know limiting industry expansion would be costly to the state of Utah, but we will pay heavily either way---by making the necessary sacrifices to improve our air now, or over the long term as we lose opportunities to do business with those who don't want to relocate to (or stay in) a place where you can see, smell, and taste the air.

Thank you for considering my concerns.


Kimberly Webb Reid