Electric Cars: Solving Utah's Myriad Fossil Fuel-Caused Problems

Deseret News' John Hoffmire comes to the support of electric vehicles as vehicles to address a host of problems facing the Salt Lake, Utah urban metro area.

Published: 27-Aug-2013

If one were to identify the top problems in the areas 40 miles north and south of Salt Lake City, most people would name air pollution among the top five. Six counties in Utah have been graded “F” in “State of Air 2013,” according to the report issued by the American Lung Association. Throughout many years, for quite a number of days each year, inversion, a phenomenon characterized by haze, exists over valleys in Utah, causing health problems for young and old alike — especially those who are troubled by bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than 150 million people live in places that fall short of the guidelines set up under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Each year, up to 30,000 premature deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to fine particulate matter, one of the six main air pollutants. Globally, data published by the World Health Organization shows that 2 million people die every year because of degraded air quality.

The largest single source of air pollution in the United States is no doubt transportation, which accounts for nearly 67 percent of the carbon monoxide, 33 percent of the nitrogen oxides and 25 percent of the hydrocarbons in our atmosphere, according to a report written by the EPA.


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