SALT LAKE CITY – Utah lawmakers continue their streak of passing bills that address the state’s severe air pollution issues. The House of Representatives has voted 59 to 13 in favor of<a href=”http://le.utah.gov/~2014/bills/static/HB0074.html” target=”parent”>House Bill 74</a>, which provides a $2,500 tax credit toward the purchase of an electric vehicle.
Rep. Lowry Snow, who sponsored the bill, said it also provides a $1,250 tax break for the purchase of a new plug-in hybrid. He added that there seems to be political will in the State Capitol to address air pollution.
“There was an appetite and it is in the legislature this year, to not only pass this bill, but a number of others that relate to trying to improve our air quality here,” Snow said.
The bill also extends a $2,500 tax credit toward the purchase of a Compressed Natural Gas vehicle or a vehicle that is converted to natural gas.
Legislators also approved bills to convert half of all state-owned passenger vehicles to cleaner fuels by August 2018. Another approved measure called for about 170 of the state’s so-called “dirty diesel” school buses to be replaced.
Snow, a member of the bipartisan “Clean Air Caucus,” said his group has worked for months researching and crafting the bills that will likely become law.
“This wasn’t just happenstance that these bills were all being run this session. Planning began a year ago,” he explained.
Politicians of all stripes are recognizing that air quality is an issue that needs to be addressed now, Snow said, adding that it is hurting tourism, and some businesses will not open in Utah due to pollution issues.
The bill is online at <a href=”http://le.utah.gov/” target=”parent”>http://le.utah.gov</a>.