Commentary: Remember Utah’s indispensable coal counties

August 09, 2017 (Salt Lake Tribune)

This year, Utah Foundation has focused squarely on the fate of one group of Utahns who have long filled the ranks of the state’s indispensable citizens – its coal industry workers. As our Coal Counties report series demonstrates, their industry is changing quickly, along with the prospects for the counties they live in.
About 1,000 people work in Utah’s coal mines. Another 1,500 people work in Utah’s five coal-fueled power plants. Beyond those numbers, trucking and other jobs support coal mining and plant operations.

But coal production has been declining in Utah. In 2015, production was down nearly half from 2001. One coal-fueled power plant closed that same year. Another coal-fueled operation is projected to end by 2025, and another by 2030.

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