Utah’s Coal Counties Part II: Coal Mines, Jobs, and Economic Benefit

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Utah’s economic benefit from coal mining and coal-fueled electricity generation is substantial, estimated at nearly three billion dollars. Most of Utah’s coal is produced from mines in a few rural counties. Most of the coal extracted is used to generate electricity at power plants in the state. While coal mining and coal-fueled electricity generation only provide direct employment to about 2,500 Utahns, this equates to over 5% of the 50,000 nonfarm jobs in seven rural … Continued

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

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #2: Air Quality

Written by: Web Admin

While air quality and the environment were a single topic in past Utah Priorities Project surveys, they were separated in 2016 based on preliminary survey feedback. Due in part to this change, air quality rose from seventh in 2012 (when combined with the environment) to the second most important issue to Utahns in 2016. Utah Voters’ Concern Over two-thirds of Utahns gave air quality a high level of concern (68% rated it a 4 or 5 on … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #10: Environment

Written by: Web Admin

The topic environmental issues, including air quality has made the Utah Priorities Project top ten list every gubernatorial election over the past decade, although it has never risen above seventh place. In 2016, air quality and the environment were separated into two topics based on preliminary survey results.   STRICTER ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS A majority (53%) of Utahns are quite concerned about the environment, rating their level of concern as a four or a fie on a fie-point scale.1 This … 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

Utah Foundation Quality of Life Index: 2015 – From Concern About Jobs to an Embrace of Natural Surroundings

Written by: Mallory Bateman

The third biennial Utah Foundation Quality of Life Index stands at 76.9 out of a possible 100 points, down more than one point from 78.2 in the 2013 index, and down slightly from 77.2 in the 2011 index. Utah Foundation produces the Index in collaboration with Intermountain Healthcare. While overall Utahns rate themselves as having a high quality of life, several of the quality of life aspects most important to them – like public schools, … Continued

Flowing Toward 2050: Utah’s Water Outlook

Written by: Mallory Bateman

Utah’s population is projected to grow by 2.5 million people in the next 35 years. The implications of this projected growth are far reaching for state and local agencies and for policy makers. Previous reports in the 2014 population growth series have discussed where growth will occur, who new Utahns will be, and what they will need to continue to have the quality of life that current Utahns enjoy. This report, the third in a … 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

Utah Foundation Quality of Life Index: 2013 Edition Shows Concerns About Jobs, K-12 Education and Air Quality

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Produced in collaboration with Intermountain Healthcare, the Utah Foundation Quality of Life Index is updated every two years to track how Utahns perceive changes in quality of life and the reasons for those changes. The second biennial Utah Quality of Life Index stands at 78.2 out of a possible 100 points, up one point from 2011. Although Utah’s quality of life rating improved, several of the issues most important to Utahns – public schools, job … 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