There are some things to like among the broad points made in Gov. Gary Herbert's 10-year Strategic Energy Plan. But the framework for energy development put together by the governor's task force of industry representatives and state officials does not do enough to promote renewable energy.
It calls for "strategic tax incentives without favoring one energy source over another." That means renewable energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal won't get the government support they need in order to compete with coal and the favorable tax position fossil-fuel development has enjoyed for decades. And the plan calls for more drilling permits on public lands, though there are hundreds of permits not being used.
It would make more sense to "favor" clean, renewable-energy sources with tax incentives just to let them begin to catch up with extraction industries. Coal mines, for instance, pay no extraction royalties. More than 80 percent of Utah's electricity now comes from coal-fired power plants, and the icky air we breathe proves it. No wonder it's called King Coal.