Boulder group joins fight against coal burning in Utah


“A group of Boulder businesses, organizations and individuals are among a 100-member Colorado coalition that this week co-signed a letter imploring the Environmental Protection Agency to stop two Utah coal plants from creating hazy skies in some of the region’s most prominent wilderness areas.

The letter, submitted in conjunction with the Sierra Club and Protect Our Winters — the leading climate advocacy group for the winter sports industry — alleges that the Hunter and Huntington coal-fired power plants in Utah are not only harming that state’s air quality and health because of outdated emissions systems, but are also doing the same to several beloved natural areas in Colorado.

In world-famous Utah national parks like Arches, Bryce Canyon and Canyonlands, the consequent haze poses a public health risk, and the letter’s coalition alleges the same can now be said of multiple Colorado spots, including Mesa Verde National Park, Black Canyon and the Flat Tops Wilderness Area.

“I think what resonates here,” said Sierra Club organizer Lindsay Beebe, “is not only the visibility issue with regional haze, but also tied to that intrinsically is the fact that public health is affected by these pollutants as well. You look out across a hazy sky and you know that there’s things in there you’re not supposed to be breathing.”

Among the brands with Boulder ties echoing that concern are Head Skis, La Sportiva footwear, ZEAL Optics, Backpacker and Skiing magazines, Boulder Cyclesport and the restaurant Pica’s Taqueria…”