Utahns Support Cleaner Cars




A diverse group of Utah leaders joined more than 1,400 of the state’s citizens in backing proposed new safeguards that would dramatically cut pollution from our cars and trucks – a massive contributor to the dirty air that plagues the Wasatch Front.


Local environmental nonprofit HEAL Utah announced Monday a bipartisan list of groups and elected community leaders who have told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that they support the proposed new Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards.


The EPA proposed the new rules in late March. A public comment period on the Tier 3 program ends today. If the program goes into effect, it would require refineries to cut the sulfur content in gasoline by two-thirds, to 10 parts per million, and require automakers to install advanced new pollution control equipment in new cars and trucks.


Together, when fully in effect, the new safeguards promise to slash emissions of dangerous nitrous oxides, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds from our tailpipes by 70 to 80 percent. Considering that autos, by state estimates, contribute roughly half our valley’s air pollution, Tier 3 could make a big difference in controlling our wintertime inversions and summertime smog.


“It's a breath of fresh air,” said Christopher Thomas. “When I tell people how much this proposal would clean up our air, for under a penny per gallon of gas, and less than $150 per vehicle, they say - where do I sign up? We've been desperate for serious solutions, and today I'm proud that the state of Utah is leading the charge for cleaner gas and cars.”


The proposed rules are estimated to cost consumers less than 1 penny more per gallon for lower-sulfur gas and an additional $125 to $150 per new car. Many of these technologies are already available in certain cars branded “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles” sold by Subaru.


Bringing these technologies that we already know work to all new cars nationwide would literally help us all breathe easier,” said Jeff Miller, general manager of Mark Miller Subaru. “That’s why carmakers back these new standards, helping Americans drive the cleanest possible cars burning the cleanest possible gas.”


Tier 3 standards will improve the health and economy of all Utahns,” said Erin Mendenhall, interim executive director of Breathe Utah.  The proposed standards will bring significant benefits to the air we breathe by significantly reducing NOx, carbon monoxide and VOCs at a minimal cost to consumers and industry."


Utah’s highest official, Gov. Gary Herbert, sent a letter to the EPA last week urging adoption of the new standards, saying the costs “appear relatively modest and less than the benefits of the Tier 3 Program in terms of reduced health-care costs, improved economic activity, and better quality of life.”


HEAL Utah set up an online action alert page and created mail-in postcards so Utahns could let the EPA know they back the new standards. As of today, the group is proud to report that at least 1,400 citizens have.


Below is a list of the other community officials and leaders who have registered their support for the proposed Tier 3 standards:


State Legislators

·      Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek

·      Rep. Joel Briscoe, D-Salt Lake City

·      Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake City

·      Rep. Jack Draxler, R-Logan

·      Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake

·      Rep. Jennifer Seelig, D-Salt Lake City

·      Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Cottonwood Heights


Salt Lake City Councilmembers

·      Jill Remington Love

·      Stan Penfold

·      Søren D. Simonsen


Other Government Bodies

  • Air Quality Board
  • SL County Council of Governments
  • Sugarhouse Community Council

Nonprofits & Businesses

·       Breathe Utah

  • Citizens Climate Lobby-Utah

·       HEAL Utah

  • Interfaith Power and Light
  • Mark Miller Subaru
  • U. Student Clean Air Network (USCAN)
  • Utah Moms for Clean Air
  • Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment