Coal-fired power plants have to deal with one problem that won’t go away — the ash left over from burning their fuel. It’s typically put in ponds and piles near the plants, where it poses a risk of environmental contamination to nearby rivers and streams. But the news about coal ash is not all bad. It contains, among other things, concentrations of rare-earth elements that could turn it into a resource. In this edition of Utah Thrives, we hear from engineering professor Maohong Fan, who’s working in this area as well as Commissioner Jae Potter from Carbon County, Utah, and from Matt Pacenza who believes Utah needs to look elsewhere for its energy future.