The Salt Lake Chamber kicked off its 4th Annual Clean Air Summit last week – bringing together top business leaders, a senior advisor to Governor Herbert, and former Salt Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson – to make the business case for clean air.
The event made clear that clean air is a key economic development issue and a top public policy priority for the chamber. Speakers agreed that improving the air quality is critical to attracting and retaining residents and businesses, and to keeping Utah’s economy strong.
“Everyone knows that clean air is important for healthy communities. It’s also important for healthy economies. So we are working with important stakeholders to make clean air a priority economic development issue,” says Chris Lee, president of Deseret Digital Media and chair of the Salt Lake Chamber’s Clean Air Task Force.
The Salt Lake Chamber is encouraging local businesses to become Chamber Clean Air Champions. One chamber member, Intermountain Healthcare, shared how they are using energy efficiency to save money and reduce local health risks associated with poor air quality. The company closely monitors its buildings’ energy use and implements economical facility improvements.
Salt Lake City suffers from high pollution levels especially in the winter months when cold air traps warm air (and pollutants) near the valley floor. The Salt Lake Chamber supports many efforts to reduce pollutants including fuel and vehicles standards, alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure, building efficiency measures, and options to expand mass transit funding.
Former Mayor Ted Wilson, who leads the Utah Clean Air Partnership, highlighted grants and loans local businesses can use for energy technology upgrades.