Letter: We must transition to a clean energy economy without leaving rural communities behind

Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune Solar panels on top of the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building.

Some members of our Legislature are rightfully worried that President Biden’s initiative to move away from fossil fuels will shut down Utah’s coal mines and the power plants they fuel.

This could cause incredible pain to the communities where the mines are located. What was left unsaid is that Rocky Mountain Power already plans to close these mines not all that much further into the future.

How will our rural communities survive, even thrive, after the plant closures? What will their economies look like? And why can’t a transition to those new economies happen now?

Because the worst-case scenario is to have no Plan B for places such as Emery and Sevier counties, and to also have a climate that is hotter, dryer and smokier than what we’ve been experiencing during this awful summer. Don’t forget that our farmers and ranchers need to make a living too.

We can’t afford to put off a transition to a clean energy economy any longer. That shouldn’t mean leaving behind those communities who have provided the energy that has been our economy’s backbone up until now. Let’s focus on how to make both transitions work for everyone.

Steve Glaser, Holladay

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