Utah's Energy Issues and Implications for Public Policy
AbstractWhile the rest of the world progresses toward renewable energy production, Utah continues to be heavily dependent on nonrenewable fossil fuel resources. Here, I examine Utah’s current energy situation as the basis for critiquing the Governor’s recently published 10-year energy plan. Current energy supplies derive mainly from coal, natural gas, and imported oil while renewable resources, such as solar, wind, and biomass, constitute only a small fraction of available energy. The environmental impact of present energy policies will lead to increased carbon dioxide production, more water contamination, exacerbated dangers for miners, and worsening air quality. After this analysis and critique, I make a series of public policy recommendations to diversify Utah’s energy portfolio and bring it up-to-date with national and international efforts to increase the sustainability of our energy practices.
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