Environment

Coal Pollution In Utah Is Out Of Control

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clouds over ski slope

By: josephdepalma

Coal Pollution In Utah Is Out Of Control

Last month, more than one hundred athletes and outdoor brands sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency asking them to protect Utah’s national parks from air pollution. The letter specifically asked for more control on Rocky Mountain Power’s coal-fired power plants. Utah’s outdoor recreation economy makes about $12 billion per year for the state, and pollution would only harm these businesses and organizations. The haze-causing pollution is a serious threat not only to the outdoor community in Utah, but also to anyone living within the state’s borders. The most immediate effect we are witnessing is simply that it’s harder to see the mountains and natural wonders through the thick smog.

The letter pleaded for modern, cost effective and achievable regulations, as states like Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico have all required of local power plants. Utah is a state that prides itself on its natural wonders and it is one of the top destinations in the United States for snow sports, especially after holding the winter olympics in 2002. It is shocking that it is one of the last states to require control on coal and air pollution.

Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce, and Zion are all national parks that bring in a lot of tourism and revenue for the state. But they will only survive as long as the environment is protected by state law. In 2014, more than ten million people from all over the world visited these national parks and brought $730 million dollars to the state’s economy. The Utah tourism industry supports about 132,000 jobs, which makes up about one out of every ten jobs in the state.

Kate Wilke is the content manager at 301brands, and she's the editor of DailyBeautyHack.com, and the lifestyle editor at OhMyVeggies.com. When she's not paddle boarding or skiing, she's informing someone about global warming (or cats) over a local double IPA. Follow her on Instagram — @kateewilke