Members of Utah’s congressional delegation called for more energy development during a panel at the Governor’s Energy Development Summit. But the discussion wasn’t without some push back from local environmental advocacy groups.
Rocky Mountain Power generates most of the electricity to serve its customers in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho by burning coal. But it's planning to shut down the Carbon power plant, a coal-fired generating station just outside Helper, in part because of the cost of complying with new environmental regulations.
Utahns cringe when they look at the prices on the gas pumps these days, though prices here haven’t reached the levels seen in California this fall. Most of the gasoline that’s refined and sold in Utah comes from oil produced in the Mountain West. But Utah Foundation researcher Shawn Teigen says the price still responds to national and international markets.
The Bureau of Land Management was expected to issue a decision this fall on whether to allow Alton Coal Development LLC to expand its strip mine in Kane County. But it's now decided to issue a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the project. That won't come out until early next year, and it will be followed by another six-week period for public comment. Keith Rigtrup, who has supervised the process for the BLM since it was first proposed in 2006, says they got a lot of feedback on the draft EIS.