Utah's Biggest Polluter
Did you know mining company, Rio Tinto/Kennecott (RTK) provides less than one fourth of 1% (0.25%) of the jobs in SL and Utah Counties, but about 30% of the pollution?
Rio Tinto actually emits about 14,500 lbs of air pollutants per employee, far more than any other business in Utah.
The economic cost of RTK’s pollution is a community liability, likely greater than the taxes and wages that they pay because someone will have to pay for the pollution. Pollution is never free. It always has a cost. The question is who will pay for it? Will the company making the pollution pay or will those costs be hoisted (externalized) unto the local community in the form of environmental degradation and damaged health.
Based on Rio Tinto's self-reporting to the Utah department of Air Quality, they create enough pollution to be responsible for btw 150 and 300 premature deaths per year along the Wasatch front. How is this even legal? Shouldn't we call it what it is - a form of modern day human sacrifice in the name of economic opportunity?
How is this even legal?
The good news is Rio Tinto/Kennecott is finally retiring its last coal-fired power plant. The bad news is they are still our valley's biggest single polluter and they need to do more to clean-up their operations.
To be clear, Utah Moms for Clean Air does not want to shut down their mining operations, but we do want them to pay the true costs of doing their business and stop cheating by externalizing those costs on to Utah citizens just so shareholders around the world can line their pockets with more money.