Our path to a clean energy future is being pried open with the help of local government leadership, as told in the July Issue of SIERRA magazine in an article by Emma Penrod titled “The Utah Way to Achieving 100 Percent Clean Energy.”
Park City, Salt Lake City and Moab have each passed resolutions committing their city to transitioning 100 percent of its energy to renewable sources by 2030 to 2040. Most recently, Salt Lake suburbs such as Cottonwood Heights have joined, and now Ogden is considering its potential to commit to 100% renewable energy.
Because Rocky Mountain Power has functioned for generations, via government contracts, to provide Utah’s power by combusting coal, its interests had to be considered. Discussions among the several entities — Rocky Mountain Power CEO Cindy Crane and Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski of SLC were key — yielded a balanced plan, Utah’s House Bill 411.
The Community Renewable Energy Act was passed by the Utah Legislature in March and signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert. Our path to providing energy diversification is now in place. Through this legislation, commitments to 100% clean energy before year 2030 to 2040 can be honored and effected. (But only for communities who subscribe to Clean Energy before Jan. 1, 2020.)
Curiously, in the same timeframe, a years-old wish to create direct international commerce, particularly for Utah’s coal, is being designed by our Legislature for the open valley west of Salt Lake City, to be named the inland port. The plan is to combine road/rail/airplane access for transport of raw materials and manufactured products.
Unfortunately, there has been no acknowledgement of the heavy pollution that is attached to such intensive industry, nor the negatives of its obnoxious location just adjacent to Salt Lake City, already struggling to clarify its air and protect its invaluable natural setting.
Naomi Franklin, Salt Lake City