Utah Wakes Up To The Smell Of Coal - In Fear Of Economic "Disaster"


Utah's wind power potential: 23 Million MWhrs/yr. Image credit:UtahCleanEnergy

Utah currently gets 93% of it's energy from burning coal. Mercury emitted by Utah's coal consuming habit helps make hunting and fishing there sports of 'catch and toss.' See Coal Released Mercury Ruins Fishing and Duck Hunting for details.

Easy to understand US Senatorial claims that "Utahns would be economically clobbered by climate legislation making its way through Congress, according to a report released Thursday by U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert." Because anything that makes coal more expensive is bound to have a strong and lasting effect in a state with so few alternatives (joking...look at the graphic). And, plus, carefully peer reviewed scientific research was relied upon for the facts presented.

Per the Salt Lake Tribute story, Herbert-Hatch report hammers climate bill:

The report, also citing Heritage Foundation projections, estimated the hit to Utah's Gross State Product as $4 billion annually in 2035 and lost jobs would be between 14,875 and 23,962 annually.

Meanwhile, the report summed up the impact on reducing global temperature as being "immeasurably small."

Joking aside, expressions of fear and outrage with Federal government are understandable responses, given that, per the Salt Lake Tribune:
Utah is fifth in the nation, from June to July, for the number of households on the verge of losing their homes, with foreclosure filings rising 6.42 percent over the preceding month. Nationally, filings rose 7 percent over the last month, as the escalating foreclosure crisis continued to outpace government efforts to limit the damage.

On the sunny side of the street, however, Utah Renewable Energy Resources are enormous. (pdf file)

So...what's the long-term future hold for Utahn's? More mercury filled ducks and fish? Go down fighting the climate bill instead of diversifying energy sources?

I guess you have to be there to answer.

Wonder how the snow has been for skiing lately? Anyone know?


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