We must move to a clean energy economy without leaving rural communities behind

Chris Detrick | Salt Lake Tribune solar panels atop the Salt Lake City Public Safety building.

Some in our legislature are rightly concerned that President Biden’s move away from fossil fuels will shut down Utah’s coal mines and the power plants they power.

This could cause incredible pain to the communities where the mines are located. What has not been said is that Rocky Mountain Power is already planning to close these mines not that much in the future.

How will our rural communities survive, if not prosper, after plant closures? What will their savings look like? And why can’t a transition to these new economies take place now?

Because the worst-case scenario is not having a Plan B for places like Emery and Sevier counties, and also having a hotter, drier, smokier climate than we have experienced during this terrible summer. Remember that our farmers and ranchers also have to make a living.

We can no longer afford to delay the transition to a clean energy economy. It shouldn’t mean leaving out those communities that have provided the energy that has been the backbone of our economy until now. Let’s focus on how to make both transitions work for everyone.

Steve Glaser, Holladay

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