Tech Corner: A Tribute to Our “Unsung Heroes” in the Energy Industry


By Michael Bryant & Max Backlund

Recent events of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many to reflect upon those “unsung heroes” that we all take for granted. We are grateful to our brave men and women in the medical industry dealing with the uncertainty of sickness and virus symptoms as they continue to treat all manner of ailments as well as those suffering from COVID-19. We also owe a debt of gratitude to employees at essential businesses such as grocery stores and retail sales establishments. Among these essential employees, we should also recognize the honorable and hard-working men and women who work tirelessly in the energy industry.

We are fortunate to live in a state with robust power plants that give Utahns some of the lowest electricity prices in the country. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (US EIA), coal power plants account for 66% of Utah’s electricity generation with 80% of their coal coming from Utah mines. Now, more than ever, our hospitals, our government, our businesses and our families are relying on technology to continue to operate in the midst of this pandemic. Our dutiful coal and electricity producers are working hard to ensure that our access to reliable and affordable electricity continues in our time of need.

The energy industry has been an important component of Utah’s economy for hundreds of years. As our economy reopens, we can be grateful for the foundation this industry has laid for our economic recovery. Information from the US EIA shows that the commercial and industrial sectors account for 70% of energy consumption in the state. Certainly, access to affordable electricity will strengthen our recovery efforts and provide competitive advantages for our Utah businesses.

We owe a debt of gratitude to many people who are working through the risks of a pandemic to make sure that our hospitals, homes and business can continue to operate as smoothly as possible. To all who are working in healthcare, grocery stores, emergency services and other essential services, we express our gratitude. To all the men and women working in coal mines and power plants, we express our added gratitude for a job well done at a critical time. We recognize the difficulty of your work and the risks you are taking to keep the lights on.

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The Utah Coal Country Strike Team serves the coal communities of Carbon and Emery counties by raising incomes and diversifying the economy. The strike team includes a multi-disciplinary team of experts who, with the support of the Utah Legislature and national funder Schmidt Futures, assist with public policies and invest in workforce training, tourism infrastructure, housing revitalization and economic development incentives. For more information, visit

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