If all goes according to plan, Utah will expand electrical production in the next several years by more than 2,000 megawatts. Almost all of it will come from coal-burning power plants, according to the DAQ. Three of the state’s largest plants are slated to expand: Hunter in Emery County, Bonanza in Uintah and IPP in Millard County will add 1,720 megawatts to the state’s electrical production. Sevier County’s is the only new plant planned. If these expansions are realized, more than 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide will enter the air yearly and the state’s carbon footprint will increase by thousands of tons, according to the DAQ.This spate of coal-plant proposals is part of national trend, says Ananth Chikkatur, a research fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. In the Rockies alone, more than 12 new coal plants are proposed. Energy companies want to get in under the wire before the George W. Bush Administration’s free-wheeling regulatory atmosphere disappears, said Chikkatur. From Killer Coal: proposed power plant in Sevier County threatens a local lifestyle and the air all of us breathe. By Jonah Owen Lamb. Salt Lake City Weekly
This is really a story about all of the rural West, not just Sevier County, whose clear skies have been targeted as wonderful places to add legal amounts of pollution from new coal-fired power plants to generate electricity for far away places.
Coal plants spew out not just sulfur, nitrogen oxides, and small particles (particulates, they also are the source of mercury pollution and they often emit more radioactivity than nuclear power plants (due to uranium ore traces in the coal that is burned). Already many stream in Utah have mercury in the trout that is above the safety limits.