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Utah Travel Headlines

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Robert Redford, Bryce Canyon and Debate About A Coal Mine

Development of a coal mine in the community of Alton is stirring considerable debate on the internet, with some saying it will destroy the environment around Bryce Canyon National Park.

Robert Redford wrote this article for Below is the headline and an excerpt.

Utah Approves a Mine Next to Bryce Canyon for Coal America Doesn't Need

Imagine: A massive open-pit coal mine next to a wilderness jewel. A scenario like that might have been routine in the past, but this is the 21st century, when many cleaner, more sustainable ways to power our economy abound. We no longer have to sacrifice an iconic landscape in order to burn some dirty rocks.

AWR Hawkins countered with this blog. Below is the headline and an excerpt.

Someone Tell Robert Redford ‘Green’ Wind Turbines Are Uglier than Coal Mines

For example, in the Huffington Post his opening argument is that coal mining is an outdated mode of getting energy because “many cleaner, more sustainable ways to power our economy abound.”

Where are these cleaner, more sustainable ways Mr. Redford? And do they exist apart from government subsidies or are they wholly dependent on taxpayer funds for their continuance? (If the latter, then the “sustainable ways” Redford peddles are actually nothing more than taxpayer-sponsored green jobs that the market won’t support.)

This blog is calling for people to send messages to our governor asking that the state reconsider allowing the mine. Below is an excerpt.

But you can help! Environmental groups have filed with the Utah Supreme Court to block the mine, including The Sierra Club, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council and National Parks Conservation Association. Post your message online and your comment will be sent to Governor Herbert, asking him to reconsider.

We are not taking sides in the debate, but would like offer a little clarity. It sounds like none of the debaters have ever been to the town of Alton. It is indeed close to Bryce Canyon, as the crow flies, but the Paunsaugunt Plateau lies between them. Alton cannot be seen from the park. The Paunsaugunt is crisscrossed by many roads and ATV trails. It's environment is not even close to wilderness.

- Dave Webb


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