POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Lawmakers propose to keep Utah running on coal and natural gas

Jan 29, 2024, 12:00 PM

Large coal piles sit in front of PacifiCorps, Hunter, 1,320 megawatt coal fired power plant on June...

FILE Large coal piles sits in front of PacifiCorps, Hunter, 1,320 megawatt coal fired power plant on June 19, 2019 in Castle Dale, Utah. (George Frey/Getty Images)

(George Frey/Getty Images)

 SALT LAKE CITY — Republicans on Capitol Hill are working to keep coal and natural gas in Utah’s future. There’s a bumper sticker making its way around the Capitol this year. It reads simply, “powered by coal.”

Rep. Colin Jack, R-St. George said he wants Utah to avoid any rolling blackouts. Jack said his bill will keep the state from relying on things like wind and solar —which could be intermittent— too soon.

“Show me the next thing that replaces coal and natural gas, and we’ll go there,” said Jack. “But talking about getting the cart before the horse, let’s don’t kill the horse before we have a new horse.”

Joining Jack in the same vein, Rep. Carl Albrecht, R-Salt Lake City has a bill that offers tax incentives to companies in the field of geothermal energy.

“It’s gonna take some years to get over this bridge. It is not going to be tomorrow. It is not going to be next year. It’s gonna be years into the future and we have to continue to rely on natural gas and coal in the state if we want to provide reliable dispatchable affordable energy,” said Albrecht.

Albrecht is one of several lawmakers displaying the “powered by coal” sticker on his laptop.  “I’m not afraid to say that because it’s true,” he said. 

According to Albrecht, he and Jack have been working together for 70 years on energy-related projects. 

“There’s a dozen states that are having rolling blackouts every time the weather gets either hot or cold currently, and we don’t want that to be Utah,” said Albrecht.

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Lawmakers propose to keep Utah running on coal and natural gas