Escalante, Utah • On the eastern end of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, narrow slot canyons shoot through the rocks in shades of terra-cotta red and pale peach. To the west stand surreal rock spires, the hoodoos for which the badlands are known. But what’s buried beneath undulating gray formations here is what caught Washington’s attention: coal. Decades ago, that gray swath signaled big profits for any company prepared to dig it up. But today, even the government officials charged with assessing the roughly 9 billion tons of coal deposits say they are unlikely to attract investors’ interest. In this fight, ideology has triumphed over economics. While administration officials trumpet a potential coal boom here, it’s unclear whether there will be many takers. Several of the tourist operators, conservation groups and researchers who invested in the area over the past two decades fear that even a modest amount of mining will undermine the landscape’s main attractions: unimpaired vistas and a snapshot of when dinosaurs roamed North America. “They don’t know your land and, truly, they don’t care for your land like you do,” the president declared. In fact, the monuments’ new boundaries were drawn by political appointees stationed in Washington. They… Read full this story
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Trump has opened up Utah’s Grand Staircase to coal mining, why has no one taken him up on it yet? have 312 words, post on www.sltrib.com at January 16, 2019. This is cached page on Business Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.