news by location
Murray Energy, regional pillar of coal industry, is sinking
The largest privately-held coal producer in America is having trouble making payments to creditors. The company operates in Appalachia, the Illinois Basin, and Utah, with 7,000 employees and 16 mines.
In Utah, little coal-industry interest in redrawn Grand Staircase-Escalante
A rollback of national monument boundaries has yet to yield any sign of new mining activity. “The question remains: Even if leasing restarts here, will anyone actually start digging?”
Momentum toward industrial-scale solar on Navajo lands
Momentum is growing around modernizing tribal renewable-energy policies on the Navajo Nation of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, according to a new report. The shift is being driven in part by the large-scale deployment of solar generation throughout the Southwest, where Navajo lands remain something of an island in a growing regional sea of utility-scale solar installations.
Growing awareness in southwest U.S. of rising risk to coal-heavy economies
With the U.S. coal industry “in frank decline,” the well-being of communities in the four corners region of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah is at risk as three coal-fired plants in the region becoming increasingly uncompetitive. Activists, educators and elected officials have responded by pressing for more initiatives meant to diversify the region’s economy, including a pilot scholarship project at Navajo Technical University. “This is a unique program that specifically helps communities affected by the decline in the coal industry,” said the university’s president. “It’s making many opportunities available for Navajo students, but there’s still tremendous need out there.”
Commentary: A Better Way to Spend $2 Million in Utah Taxpayer Dollars
A Utah columnist questions a state proposal to budget $2 million to sue California over energy policies that reduce its need for coal, some of which it buys from Utah mines: “Instead of bankrolling a legal battle for a diminishing industry, the Beehive State should invest $2 million dollars in adapting our energy industry to fit market demands and employ those who have been or will be impacted by the continued decline of the coal industry.”
Op-Ed: ‘We Need Real Economic Prosperity’
A former coal miner in Utah is condemning the state’s plan to spend public money suing California for its clean-energy policies. “The notion that we should tolerate and use taxpayer dollars to attempt to sustain a 19th century industry is a slap in the face to coal miners and communities here in Carbon County and beyond,” writes the author. “We no longer need coal. What we do need is real economic prosperity.’