Trying to keep Utah’s energy core viable

STATE OF UTAH — Many in areas such as the Uintah Basin have been worried about the future of energy in the state and beyond.

But an encouraging announcement came a few weeks ago that Utah was in the running for a very large federal grant.  It’s for the purpose of meeting the future of energy needs and helping communities transition into that future, if necessary.

This past week on KVNU’s For the People program, Tom Carter, part of the governor’s team and a long-time energy advisor to the governor, said the overarching goal is to diversify Utah’s energy portfolio for economics and resilience.

“As well as to provide additional high-paying career opportunities in rural Utah,” he added, “and that leverage existing skills in our energy workforce. And so, this challenge which came from the Economic Development Administration or E.D.A., had a two-phase application. Five-hundred-twenty-nine applicants throughout the country, and we put one together that we felt really strongly about.”

Utah’s application is among the hundreds of applications whittled down to 60. Carter said they have two months to finalize their total application, but they are working hard to help this region of the state look towards the future.

“We can’t hope that the status quo will be what it is forever, and so when we look at these communities that have powered not just the state but the nation, we don’t want them to be left behind. We don’t want to (just) say ‘thank-you for your hard work, thank-you for lifting us up and making our modern life possible.’ We want to be able to say ‘thank-you for doing that, come with us into this new future.’”

He said the messaging is ‘let’s work together to ensure that your communities don’t get left behind.’

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