Salt Lake City— Numerous bills are being considered in the state legislature that affect air quality in Utah. And though many of those bills are designed to improve air quality, the only bill passed thus far could have a negative effect on access to clean breathing air.
In response to the bipartisan support of HB23, High Occupancy Vehicle Lane Amendments, the Alliance for a Better UTAH has issued the following statement:
“Despite pressure from numerous citizen groups to consider clean air proposals, the Utah Legislature has instead passed with bipartisan support a bill that would limit the number of clean air vehicles in the state’s high occupancy vehicle lane. The Department of Transportation currently prioritizes vehicles with multiple occupants and C-Decals, or clean vehicle passes. By limiting the number of clean air vehicle passes to 6000, this bill effectively de-prioritizes clean air vehicles by taking away a governmental incentive, however small, to encourage clean energy behavior. It’s a step in the wrong direction.
“Furthermore, the bill makes no mention of the over 13,000 individuals who pay to drive in the express lane–thus increasing pollutants–without meeting either carpooling or clean air vehicle requirements. Clean air remains a priority among Utahns. Our state legislators need to consider the collateral damage that even simple bills like HB23 have on our ability to breath clean air. State legislators should be encouraging the use of clean air technology, not penalizing it.”
Alliance for a Better Utah | 801.557.1532 | www.betterutah.org
The Alliance for a Better UTAH is a year-round, multi-issue education and advocacy organization providing resources, commentary, and action on important public policy matters.