Yesterday a few friends and I spent our lunch hour at the clean air rally at the Utah State Capital. The rally was organized by the Davis County Community Coalition (DC3) and in support of HB 393 which would put a two-year moratorium on new coal fired plants in areas of Utah that are already not meeting federal air quality standards.
My friend Cabot started chatting with a man who he suspected might be in the legislature. It turns out that the man was Rep. Barrus, the sponsor of the bill. Cabot asked Rep. Barrus how far along the bill was in the process. Barrus replied that it didn’t really matter because the bill had done what it was designed to do, which was bring Consolidated Energy to the table to negotiate their use of petroleum coke as fuel.
According to this site (which I think belongs to DC3), petroleum coke is the waste left over from refining oil and the dirtiest fossil fuel available (much dirtier than coal). Barrus explained that in the few days leading up to the rally, Consolidated Energy made a commitment to not use pet coke if they continued with the plant.
While being considered a victory, the community is urged to keep an eye on plans for the new plant. If you’d let to get involved with the cause, Utah Moms for Clean Air and Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment welcome volunteers.