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What's the future?
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Could it be possible that tar sands/shale oil/bitumen mining is the real driver behind Utah's effort to take over 30 million acres of federal land ("Researchers exploring federal land transfer's impact on Utah," Tribune, Aug. 14)?

We are experiencing a new bubble of fossil-fuel extraction in Utah: major expansion of oil and gas wells in the Uintah Basin and upstart initiatives to harvest the bitumen beds underlying northeastern Utah. Dollar signs are taking wing.

This is happening in curious juxtaposition to our also growing acknowledgement that it is the combustion of just such fossil fuels that is polluting our air, causing serious health effects and heating our atmosphere, with dire consequences for world climate and our biosphere.

It has been calculated that there is great potential for more than sufficient power in the free energy from our sun, wind, and water flows. Such sources are inexhaustible; they do not release toxins nor carbon dioxide, nor do they disrupt land surfaces.

We are at a crossroad of decision-making: Will it be a hot, smelly, short future or a future that endures, with health and harmony?

Naomi Franklin

Salt Lake City

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