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Utah lawmakers unveil clean air bills tackling cars and houses

Layton Rep. Steve Handy (podium) congratulates Millcreek Rep. Patrice Arent during a news conference announcing several clean air bills. (Photo credit: KSL Newsradio reporter Kelli Pierce)

SALT LAKE CITY – A bi-partisan group of Utah lawmakers has unveiled 21 clean air bills, many of which tackle emissions from homes and cars.

The clean air bills were revealed during a news conference at the State Capitol on Monday.

Clean air bills include rebates and exemptions

They include expanded rebates so people can buy more energy-efficient appliances, getting rid of emissions inspection fees for electric cars, and exempting solar panels from property taxes.

Rep. Patrice Arent (D-Millcreek) is championing a bill that would give an information sheet to homebuyers about the environmental impact of single-family houses. The idea is to encourage them to make “greener” choices when picking or remodeling properties.

“So that they know when they’re going into that purchase, what do they need to do to have a home that’s less polluting, that’s more energy-efficient,” Arent said. “That’s something that’s been done in other states and very successfully.”

Clean air bills push for renewables

Rep. Raymond Ward (R-Bountiful) wants Utah to get half its energy from renewable sources by 2030. But he also supports a bill to install more electric car-charging stations along roads.

“Things are moving in a certain direction,” he said, “And we really, really hope they continue to move in that direction because we really need that — for our air quality here locally and we also need it if we’re going to be able to cut down our carbon emissions and maintain our economy,” Ward said.

Other bills focus on tax credits and EVs

Rep. Steve Handy (R-Layton) is sponsoring several bills to study pollution from different sources, like trains. But he also supports a bill that would give a state tax credit to people who buy electric vehicles.

“We only have about 1.5% of the fleet of 500,000 cars in this state that are EVs,” Handy said. “So, if we can just bump that up just a little bit, we know that that will have a dramatic impact,” Handy said.