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Clean air advocates push for electric vehicles

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - A hearing was held Wednesday at the Utah State Capitol to stop Utah's smog problem.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A hearing was held today at the Utah State Capitol to stop Utah's smog problem. Last year legislatures passed SB-275, which requires the Utah Public Service Commission to explore improving air quality through electric vehicles.

Jared Campbell made the switch to an electric vehicle two years ago and his primary reason, Utah's air quality. “I love Utah, I’ve lived here my whole life, but the one thing that tries to nudge me away every year is the inversions," says Cambell.

Campbell tells ABC 4 Utah every January he and his wife often think about relocating. “I've got a child on the way in December and it's heightened my awareness of it too. It's huge for us. It really is a big challenge and is the number one negative thing of living in Salt Lake City is the air quality," says Campbell.

That’s why Utah Clean Energy and Southwest Energy Efficiency Project have teamed up to combat Utah's urban smog. Through analysis they found electric vehicles can play a major role in reducing air pollution. "Essentially compared to a new gasoline vehicle, a electric vehicle is going to reduce all of the harmful pollutants that are contributing to poor air quality in the Wasatch front," says Mike Salisbury from SWEEP. However, more tan
50% of the unhealthy smog utah's are breathing comes from tailpipe emissions.

For Campbell, he says leasing options made it possible for him to get Nissan Leaf. "The biggest savings is in gas. If you switch over to an electric car it's inherently a much more efficient vehicle so what you spend in energy for it is a lot less," says Campbell.

A number policies are also in the works for those who have an electric vehicle including boosting the tax credit and allowing the resale of electricity for vehicle charging.

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