Low oil prices could help improve Utah’s air quality

Amy Joi O’Donoghue, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The monumental shifts in the price of oil are already helping to keep cash in motorists’ wallets, but they’re also creating a market change that could ultimately improve air quality along the Wasatch Front.

Consider that the use of one 50-car shuttle train carrying Uinta Basin crude oil is the equivalent of removing 200 to 250 heavy-duty trucks off U.S. 40, the east-west corridor that is the current pipeline to get oil from the Uinta Basin to Salt Lake City refineries.

Getting that oil to market at the right price — and ensuring the right infrastructure and policies are in place — were part of the focus of a workshop Thursday in Duchesne County hosted by key state government energy offices in Utah.

Laura Nelson, director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development, said when people think of “infrastructure” along the Wasatch Front, they likely think of the next park that will be built, or another bike path or amenity that boosts quality of life.

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