Filthy winter air gets worse. Developments in Nevada could compound problem-

Utah’s air quality overall is relatively good. The problem is that it is bad, has been for a long time, and is getting worse where most of the people live — the Wasatch Front and Cache Valley.

Utah’s dirty air in population centers goes back to the days of primitive metal smelters located right in Salt Lake Valley. As all but one has closed, the problem has shifted to the emissions from and associated with the seemingly endless strip city from Brigham on the north to Payson on the south (where I am in a motel typing this story).

The EPA may soon impose sanctions on the state. If it stops the sprawl, that might be a good thing. See the story below.

Dirty-air problem is growing. EPA set a deadline. It won’t be easy. In fact, the state says, ‘It’s going to be really hard.‘ By Judy Fahys. The Salt Lake Tribune.

I want to add that developing problems in Nevada will only make it worse in the long run, such as the huge coal plants set to be built near the state’s western border at Ely and dewatering of Nevada valleys to feed continued growth in Las Vegas.

– – – – – – –
Update on the Ely Energy Center (Ely coal plant). Coal plant debate intensifies. In Ely, feelings about the environment and the economy overwhelm the agenda. Las Vegas Sun. By Phoebe Sweet

Still more on the Ely project. Nevada Energy delays Ely coal plant, hastens transmission line project. By Jeremy Twitchell. Las Vegas Sun

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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