–By Amy Brunvand
Last month the Obama Administration announced a moratorium on new coal leasing on public lands in order to evaluate overall health and environmental impacts.
Also last month, Arch Coal, one of the nation’s largest coal mines with mines in Wyoming, Colorado and elsewhere, filed Chapter II bankruptcy.
As this was happening, the State of Utah acted to prop up the fading coal industry by sneaking approval for a coal liquefaction plant near Price under the radar. The only public notice of the project was published by the Utah Division of Air Quality in the Sun Advocate newspaper in Price.
Tim Wagner, executive director for Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, says the project will release significant toxic air pollutants as well as almost 300,000 tons of CO2.
Utah Physicians of a Healthy Environment: uphe.org