September 27, 2018 Read More →

Why two chefs in small-town Utah are battling President Trump

New Yorker:

In addition to removing almost nine hundred thousand acres from protection, Trump’s proclamation carved the remaining land into three separate units: Grand Staircase, Kaiparowits, and Escalante Canyons. The logic governing those boundaries became clear this summer, when the Department of the Interior accidentally released a report that contained extensive information—redacted in a subsequent version—on the whereabouts, within the original monument, of oil, gas, coal, tar sands, copper, cobalt, uranium, and other natural resources. The location of those resources made plain that the restructuring amounted to a kind of environmental gerrymandering: Grand Staircase had been carved up to maximize access for extractive industries.

Proponents of that change argue that it will strengthen the regional economy, but that assertion is doubtful. Take coal: there is an enormous amount of it within the monument, but virtually zero demand for it. In a report on the impending closure of a mine just outside Grand Staircase, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis noted, “The overall coal sector, which includes coal plants and mines, is in structural decline. There is no market for the power from the plant or for coal from the mine.” Other resources remain lucrative, but not necessarily for locals: most energy and mining companies are national or multinational operations that bring in many of their own employees, and the industry as a whole is subject to boom-and-bust cycles that can devastate on-site communities both culturally and financially.

Why two chefs in small-town Utah are battling President Trump

Posted in: IEEFA In the News

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