The Utah Legislature visited the campus of Utah State University Eastern Wednesday as part of a fact-finding tour in rural Utah.
Multiple individuals spoke during the hour allotted to legislators on the tour, one of which was John J. Siegel, chairman of the board for Bowie Resources Partners LLC. In 2013, Bowie purchased three coal-mining operations from Arch Coal, including Sufco, Skyline and Dugout mines. Siegel presented USU Eastern and Chancellor Joe Peterson with a check for $300,000 for advanced clean coal testing.
“This check is to continue the development of a clean coal technology that is being ramped up in a warehouse facility very close to the closed Carbon plant,” Peterson said. “This is an example that coal can be produced and can be used in ways that significantly reduce emissions. It can be done with the coking technology that we are currently developing.”
Carbon County Commissioner Jae Potter spoke about the economic needs of the county, which heavily depend on coal and other natural resources.
“Our economy is basically built, about 85% of it, on energy,” Potter said. “When we talk about the devastation that comes from overregulation, it hits home to us because very, very quickly we can be erased because of a few environmentalists that feel that there are bad issues with coal.”
Potter urged the legislature to think about rural Utah and Carbon County when they convene yearly and also thanked them for allocating money for USU Eastern’s new Central Instruction Building.
“Can’t thank you enough for what this building means to this campus,” he said. “We want to help fulfill the governor’s mission in secondary education to the population of Utah and that happens here in Price, Utah.”
Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox also spoke at the event. He informed those in the audience and especially the legislators in attendance about the devastating floods in Hildale and Zion National Park that claimed nearly two-dozen lives on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Those wishing to watch the presentation in its entirety may do so on ETV Channel 10 on Saturday at 8:35 p.m. and on Sunday at 8:30 p.m.