Monday, July 19, 2010

Researchers expect decline in Carbon coal production

Coal production from Carbon County mines could decline by as much as 95 percent over the next ten years, and even under the most optimistic conditions it is expected to be about half of current output by 2023. That is the forecast of the Utah Geologic Survey, recently analyzed and published by the University of Utah's Bureau of Economic and Business Research. The study considers that environmental concerns, development of competitive energy resources and technologies, availability of new mining permits and viability of export markets will all affect the future of coal. In the worst case, Carbon's production collapses to just 500,000 tons per year after 2020 from the estimated 10 million tons today. In the best case, with new technology in pollution control making new power plants possible and Pacific Rim export markets expanding, the county's mines will still taper off to 5.5 million tons per year by 2023. Emery County would then be the king of the coalfields with a predicted output of 11 million tons. Sun Advocate