Op-Ed: Air quality is a leading issue in Utah, but can Utah lead on clean vehicles?

Written by: Peter Reichard

Along the Wasatch Front, there may be no quality of life concern more urgent than clean air. Utah Foundation’s own survey work finds again and again that air quality is a top concern of citizens. The single biggest culprit in our air quality woes is us – driving around in cars, trucks and heavy-duty vehicles that convert gasoline and diesel fuel into unhealthy ozone and particulate matter in our air. It follows that promoting alternative … Continued

How should we pay for water? A matter of priorities

Written by: Peter Reichard

It can be said that the modern history of Utah began with water — and a bet. The year was 1824, and Jim Bridger was sitting around with his fellow mountain men in Cache Valley, on the banks of the Bear River, laying bets over where the water flowed. To settle the bet, Bridger followed the river down and found a giant, briny inland sea. Ever since, water has shaped the contours of Utah’s history … Continued

Utah Thrives: Paying for Water

Written by: Dan Bammes

What’s the best way for communities in Utah to share the cost of providing water? How can municipalities and water districts encourage users to conserve so in the long run, there will be enough to go around? Utah Foundation looked at those questions in a new series of research reports. In this edition of Utah Thrives, we’ll hear from Research Analyst Christopher Collard, along with Ron Thompson from the Washington County Water Conservancy District, Tom … Continued

Utah Thrives: Mine Reclamation

Written by: Dan Bammes

Mining was a driving force in America’s frontier legacy. A century and a half ago, prospectors and miners began pouring into the Mountain states from Montana to Arizona, in search of wealth or at least a living. As a result, the landscape is peppered with old mines they left behind. And while they’re a fascinating part of the history of the West, abandoned mines can pose a present-day challenge. In this edition of Utah Thrives, … Continued

Utah Thrives: Community Growth

Written by: Dan Bammes

Utah Foundation hosted a panel discussion on the challenges posed by Utah’s rapid population growth, issues explored in the research report Building a Better Beehive: Land Use Decision Making, Fiscal Sustainability and Quality of Life in Utah. The panelists included: Andrew Gruber, Wasatch Front Regional Council Robert Grow, Envision Utah Beth Holbrook, Utah Transit Authority Bryson Garbett, Garbett Homes Cameron Diehl, Utah League of Cities and Towns In this edition of Utah Thrives, we’ll hear … Continued

Utah’s Quality of Life – Video

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Utah Foundation occasionally surveys Utahns in an effort to understand how they feel about both their community and their personal quality of life. This video describes why Utah’s community quality of life is declining, and shows how quality of life is affected by demographic factors. This is all described in further detail in our report Utah Foundation Quality of Life Survey: Measuring Utahns’ Perceptions of their Communities, Personal Lives.  

Utah Thrives — The Future of Transportation

Written by: Dan Bammes

What if the public transit system worked more like Uber? What if we could keep the air cleaner in Utah’s national parks by driving electric cars? And how would our society change if our cars were better at driving than we are? Those are among the questions explored by a panel of experts at a recent Utah Foundation event on the Future of Transportation in Utah. We’ll hear from David Christensen, Executive Director of USU’s … Continued

How will imminent changes in transportation alter our lives?

Written by: Peter Reichard

Karl Benz loved bicycles. So when he invented the first production automobile in 1885, he combined his knowledge of bicycle and motor technology with a desire to create a “horseless carriage.” The vehicle had its flaws, crashing during its demonstration period. He further refined his invention, still thinking he was just creating a bicycle-inspired alternative to the horse and buggy. He had no idea he was reaching into a Promethean fire that would change the … Continued

Utah Thrives — Addressing Ozone Pollution

Written by: Dan Bammes

Changes in federal regulations are bringing new attention to the problem of ozone air pollution in Utah. It’s more of a summertime problem for Utah’s urban areas, but it’s also a significant problem in the Uintah Basin of eastern Utah, where most of the state’s oil and gas drilling takes place. In this edition of Utah Thrives, we’ll hear from Whitney Oswald with the Utah Division of Air Quality, environmental scientist Seth Lyman from Utah … Continued

Utah Thrives — Microgrids

Written by: Dan Bammes

We often think of electric power systems as regional in scale — a huge grid of high-voltage power lines connecting dams, power plants and substations to industry and homes across a wide area. That’s how they have evolved over the past century or more. But the idea of smaller, independent power systems that become components of the larger grid while serving their own communities is also becoming current. In this edition of Utah Thrives, we … Continued