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Letter of the week: It’s 2025, and we’ve stopped digging coal

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Apr 25 2014 05:52 pm • Last Updated Apr 25 2014 05:52 pm

Here’s a reverie sparked by Earth Day and a visit to the oil and gas fields of eastern Utah on a sunny, breezy day:

The year is 2025. The United States has joined the long list of countries that have flipped their energy policy. From here on, top priority and government support go to renewable energy sources to supply most of our energy needs, with natural gas and, in some places, nuclear as backups, to be used when sun and wind are insufficient. Coal has long since been phased out, and more recently oil, too, as being just too harmful to the environment/climate to merit investment.

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Fortunately, 2025 finds Utah ideally positioned among states to thrive in this new economy, with its abundant solar, wind and geothermal energy resources, its reserves of natural gas, and its university research centers focused on renewables.

What’s more, Utah saw the light back in 2015 and began to flip its own energy priorities. Construction of new coal-fired power plants was halted, and new fossil fuel drilling was directed away from oil to cleaner natural gas, using the latest, safest fracking technologies, and only in areas where water table contamination and earthquake risks were lowest. Then, with reserves accumulated, it was terminated altogether, and Utah led the way into the Age of Renewables.

It could happen. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Al Forsyth

River Heights

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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