There is a rolling billboard at the Sundance Film Festival educating the public about the importance of affordable, abundant coal and its direct connection to our economic prosperity and energy security.
I applaud Friends of Coal West for sponsoring the billboard, because it is important to understand that affordable electricity is a primary driver of Utah’s economy. Nationwide, coal generates 40 percent of America’s electricity. We are fortunate in Utah that more than 80 percent of our electricity is generated by coal, providing us with some of the lowest-cost energy in the U.S.
It’s estimated that Utah’s population will double by 2050. If that is the case, we are going to need all the energy we can get to power our society. That means we will need a diversified, all-of-the-above energy portfolio that includes natural gas, wind solar, geothermal, biomass, nuclear, hydroelectric, and yes, a lot of coal, to meet our energy demands.
The coal industry will continue providing consistently low-cost base-load power in Utah for generations to come. Our future depends on it. Think about that the next time you’re enjoying a movie.
Mark D. Compton
Utah Mining Association
Salt Lake City
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