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Advancing Utah's Energy Future

My view: Coal not going away anytime soon

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By Mark Compton
For the Deseret News

This letter is in response to the Deseret News editorial of June 30 and their conclusion that “traditional fossil fuel industries find themselves in a state of eclipse.” The editorial implies that because of Oakland’s decision to not allow coal to be shipped through that city and Rocky Mountain Power’s Solar Subscriber Program allowing customers to buy “blocks” of solar power, Utah’s coal industry is vanishing and we should just focus on the transition for coal-reliant communities.

Certainly, coal’s market share of the world’s energy supply has been declining. Some say it is because of overly burdensome regulations designed to drive coal out of the energy mix. Some say it’s because of competition from natural gas and the heavily subsidized production of wind and solar power. Of course, the truth lies somewhere in between.

This has led to an impression that coal is a dying industry, and editorials such as that from the Deseret News only serve to perpetuate that myth. The reality is coal is not going away anytime soon. On the contrary, coal will continue to be part of the backbone of our energy infrastructure for a long time.(…)

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