Carbon County, Utah Named for It’s Coal Wealth, but No Longer Produces It


Before the 2008 election, I was slowly moving towards conservatism. One can’t just quit being liberal after 40 years. But I remember the night that sealed the deal when I learned that Obama planned to bankrupt the coal industry.

Obama’s announcement was more than just a wink to the environmental lobby. Democrats are against fossil fuels but I did not think they had the power to shut down oil and gas production. I thought coal would be more vulnerable.

Craig, Colorado is located a few hours to the east of where I live. Craig, Colorado has always depended heavily on its coal mining industry to survive. The town and its inhabitants would be in dire straits without them. Price, Utah is located a few hours south of where I live. Carbon County is named after the coal deposits that are found in this area. Price, Utah, and the nearby town of Helper were historically also dependent on coal mining as their mainstay.

I knew if Obama kept his word, many people would lose their jobs and have their lives ruined. Obama wouldn’t care or meet these people. Obama, bureaucrats, and lobbyists have been able to cripple the oil and natural gas industry in my hometown. The extraction industry may still be in business but it does not contribute as much to the local economy as it used to.

We would drive to Helper for my dental appointments because my dentist was located in Helper which is near Price. It felt eerie. Downtown was almost completely empty. The downtown was essentially deserted. A few shops were still holding on and the radio station of the city played its broadcasts over loudspeakers. Price had a Walmart, as well as the usual fast food outlets and national retailers. But, overall, it looked like someone forgot to put up the “Closed’ sign.

However, Carbon County coal production is no longer taking place. According to Fox 13 News, a report from the Utah Geological Survey was cited. According to the TV station, while the mining industry was still active around the area in 2019, the last mine closed in 2019. Mike Vanden Berg is the energy and minerals program director for the Utah Geological Survey.

Carbon County in Utah has a long tradition of coal production, but the demand for coal has been decreasing over the past few years. Carbon County had some mines that were forced to close. There’s been a recent increase in demand for coal, but the issue is now finding workers to work in mines.

Vanden Berg noted that miners are now traveling to neighboring counties to work. The county claims that the tax burden has shifted to the property owners because of the absence of mines in Carbon County. Local officials hope to increase tourism as a result.

This is something I’ve seen before in my hometown. Vernal in Utah has the advantage of being near Dinosaur National Monument and Flaming Gorge National Rec Area. It is also close to the Green River which is a popular place for trout and rafting fishermen. The issue of the new industry is a different one. People who can telecommute in rural Utah may find some salvation. This migration could increase the number of companies that offer goods and services. The service industry doesn’t offer the same wages, pensions, and benefits as mining.

What about those who have worked in mining for years? Ryan Madsen is a coffee truck owner who told the outlet that it was unfair to tell someone who has worked in a coal mine for thirty years, “Sorry. Go to school.” So, I believe that we should keep them in mind as we go forward.

Vanden Berg stated that Carbon County’s mining future is bleak despite a recent permit for a new mine in the area. Ironically, our left-leaning rulers are obsessed with electricity. This fetish has a direct connection to wind and solar because these companies are major contributors to progressive politicians. Joe Biden is a prime example. Solar and wind farms, however, are dependent on the sun and wind. The turbines near my home are often off. It is therefore up to coal to keep the EVs moving. The lights are on and the electric stoves are cooking.

Our leaders prefer that people suffer in rolling blackouts throughout the country before they admit their mistakes.