Here we go again. Another group of stay-at-home ditzy soccer moms with too much time on their hands wants to make our lives more complicated and miserable with yet another oppressive nuisance law. It's not enough that we're told where to smoke and what kind of seats our kids must ride in when being transported, and that our airports are infested with uniformed Gestapo in the name of "security". Now they want to tell us where and when we can idle our vehicles.
An extremist group of green vigilantes known as Utah Moms for Clean Air, already infamous for their knee-jerk opposition to coal-fired power plants in Utah, is pushing the Park City Council to adopt a resolution restricting vehicle idling in the community. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the group Clean Air Park City, which is a chapter of Utah Moms for Clean Air, has provided the City Council with a draft resolution asking residents not to warm up vehicles in driveways, leave them running when dashing to an ATM or post office, and even to turn off vehicles while at any drive-thru facility. At this point, it would strictly be a resolution instead of an ordinance, so there'd be no penalties for non-compliance.
It should be noted that they do NOT advocate forcing people to turn off vehicles at stop lights while in traffic. Additional stories posted by KSTU Channel 13 (with video) and KSL Channel 5, whose video is embedded below:
According to Mary Jacquin of Park City Clean Air, the resolution is an education tool to remind drivers that unnecessary idling of autos has harmful effects on human health and the environment. She acknowledges that Park City's air is clean compared to Wasatch Front communities, but she thinks this resolution will keep it that way. In other words, a solution looking for a problem.
But although Jacquin is merely interested in education at this time, others have more sinister intent. Park City Sustainability Coordinator Tyler Poulson is openly licking his chops at the prospect of using this "resolution" as a precursor to an ordinance that could include fines. There is no timetable for such a regulation or how it would be enforced. It most likely would include exceptions for severe weather conditions and other health-related factors. But just as we have regular DUI blitzes in Utah, we'd eventually see "No-Idling" blitzes. Don't laugh - a no-idling blitz was launched by police in Toronto in 2006. And another one is being launched in London, Ontario this month.
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Ogden and Provo already have ordinances disallowing public employees from idling city and county vehicles, but no municipality in Utah has such a rule for the general public. But air pollution levels along the Wasatch Front continue to run afoul of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, primarily during wintertime inversions. It is estimated that 50 percent of Utah's air pollution is generated by motor vehicles. Utah Moms for Clean Air also cite more supporting justification HERE, using information provided by the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE). But it should be noted that the EPA is now enforcing more stringent PM 2.5. pollution standards, which means Utah's "non-attainment" area, once limited to Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Utah Counties, is now being expanded to include portions of Cache, Box Elder and Tooele counties, plus a portion of Franklin County, Idaho, that is part of Cache Valley's airshed. So is pollution really "increasing", or are the EPA's tighter standards merely making it appear that pollution is increasing, the illusion of which can be used and manipulated to keep the "green" industry flush with profits and increase state control over the American people?
But it should be noted that UPHE is another environmental extremist organization who promotes climate change theology; the antics and attitudes of its president, Dr. Brian Moench, are documented HERE. Some of UPHE's goals include reduction of the speed limit to 55mph when air pollution exceeds EPA limits, public subsidies for mass transit, free ridership and expanded service, state funding for more extensive environmental monitoring, and policies prohibiting school buses should from idling in school yards while waiting for students.
The last thing we need is to allow radicals to be dictating energy policy in Utah.