Utah’s Coal Counties Part I: Coal Energy, Production, and the Future

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Most coal consumption in the United States is for electricity generation. However, coal-fueled electricity’s share of the total has been decreasing. This is due in large part to the availability of low-cost natural gas, stringent environmental regulations that affect coal-fueled power plants, and favorable tax treatment for renewable technologies. Coal-fueled power plants have been closing and others are reducing their total output. As a result, coal production is also decreasing. Utah is one of only six states that gets … Continued

Bringing Air Quality Home: Reducing Residential Emissions

Written by: Christopher Collard

Many Utahns consider air quality an important factor in determining quality of life and would support actions to improve air quality. Oil refineries and other industrial polluters, as well as passenger vehicles, have been the focus of federal, state, and local government regulation, yet there has been little focus in Utah about reducing pollution generated from commercial and residential buildings. Emissions from buildings contribute substantially to Utah’s pollution, particularly during the winter when they produce … Continued

Roadmap to 2050: Planning for Utah’s Future Infrastructure Needs

Written by: Mallory Bateman

Utah’s population is projected to grow by 2.5 million people by 2050. This growth will result in an older, more diverse population. New Utahns will need places to live, reliable sources of energy to support their needs, and a good transportation network to get to work, entertainment, or school. This report focuses on three important facets of communities: development, transportation, and energy. Water is also a critical element to growth, but it will be discussed … Continued

The Air We Breathe: A Broad Analysis of Utah’s Air Quality and Policy Solutions

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Utahns care about air quality. In the 2013 Utah Foundation Quality of Life Index, survey respondents indicated that air quality was the most important thing that could be improved to increase the quality of life in the state. Further, in a 2013 survey produced by Envision Utah, almost all Utahns are willing to act to clean the air. Utah Foundation’s newest research report analyzes the trends, science, health concerns, and policy solutions related to the … Continued

Sagebrush Rebellion Part II: Analysis of the Public Lands Debate in Utah

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

The federal government owns around 635 million acres, or 28% of the land comprising the United States. Within Utah, nearly 67% of the state’s total acreage, or 35 million acres, is owned by the federal government. Throughout the nation’s history, groups have debated who should control this land and how it should be managed. In 2012, the Utah State Legislature passed the Transfer of Public Lands Act (TPLA), which demands the United States transfer an … Continued

Utah Priorities 2012, Issue #3: Energy Issues

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

In 2012, voters listed energy as the 3rd most important priority in the election year. This brief explains how Utahns heat and cool their homes and businesses, and addresses the status of exploration for traditional and renewable energy within the state. It also explains that the concern with energy was mainly due to the cost of gasoline, despite the fact that Utah has the lowest residential energy prices in the country. Interestingly, the concern with … Continued

The 2012 Utah Priorities Survey of Party Delegates and Voters

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

As part of the 2012 Utah Priorities Project, Utah Foundation and the Hinckley Institute of Politics have surveyed Utah voters and delegates to the major parties’ state conventions.  This survey was conducted for the first time in 2010, showing distinct differences between party delegates and voters, with delegates usually taking more zealous positions than their parties’ voters.  The 2012 survey also shows differences between voters and delegates, but those differences are not as pronounced as … Continued

Utah Priorities Gubernatorial Survey: A Comparison of Candidates’ and Voters’ Top Priorities for 2012

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Utah Foundation recently released The 2012 Utah Priorities Survey, which provides a summary of the findings of a statewide Dan Jones & Associates survey assessing which issues are most important this election year and how voters feel about Utah’s economy, society and politics.  For the first time, Utah Foundation also requested that the gubernatorial candidates complete part of this survey.  All of the Republican and Democratic candidates and two of three third-party candidates completed the … Continued

The 2012 Utah Priorities Survey: The Top Issues and Concerns of Utah Voters for the 2012 Election

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

In this election year, Utahns are more confident that the state is heading in the right direction than they were two years ago. However, they are still not as confident as they were in the 2004 and 2008 elections.  Their concerns about issues like jobs and the economy, public education, and healthcare remain strong.  Some issues that were important in the 2010 election, such as ethics of elected officials, states’ rights vs. the federal government, … Continued

Is the Price Finally Right? The Economics of Renewable Energy

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

During the past several years, there has been a surge of interest among policymakers, scientists, investors and the public alike in renewable energy. The potential of harnessing power derived from virtually unlimited, renewable resources such as wind, the sun, water, the heat of the earth, and even organic matter, is appealing in comparison to using power derived from fossil fuels. The latter include resources such as oil, which must be imported, is scarce, can have … Continued