For generations, coal has been the lifeblood of this mineral-rich stretch of eastern Utah. Mining families proudly recall all the years they toiled underground. Supply companies line the town streets. Above the road that winds toward the mines, a soot-smudged miner peers out from a billboard with the slogan “Coal = Jobs.”
But recently, fear has settled in. The state’s oldest coal-fired power plant, tucked among the canyons near town, is set to close, a result of new, stricter federal pollution regulations.
As energy companies tack away from coal, toward cleaner, cheaper natural gas, people here have grown increasingly afraid that their community may soon slip away. Dozens of workers at the facility here, the Carbon Power Plant, have learned that they must retire early or seek other jobs. Local trucking and equipment outfits are preparing to take business elsewhere.
“There are a lot of people worried,” said Kyle Davis, who has been employed at the plant since he was 18.
But Rocky Mountain Power, the utility that operates the plant, has determined that it would be too expensive to retrofit the aging plant to meet new federal standards on mercury emissions. The plant is scheduled to be shut by April 2015.
For the last several years, coal plants have been shutting down across the country, driven by tougher environmental regulations, flattening electricity demand and a move by utilities toward natural gas.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the stricter emissions regulations for the plants will result in billions of dollars in related health savings, and will have a sweeping impact on air quality.
“Coal plants are the single largest source of dangerous carbon pollution in the United States, and we have ready alternatives like wind and solar to replace them,” said Bruce Nilles, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, which wants to shut all of the nation’s coal plants.
“在美国，火电厂是有害碳污染的最大来源，但我们已经有风能、太阳能等替代能源取代”，塞拉俱乐部的无煤运动负责人布鲁斯·尼尔斯（Bruce Nilles）说 。无煤运动的宗旨就是关停国内所有的燃煤电厂。
For many here, coal jobs are all they know. The industry united the area during hard times, too, especially during the dark days after nine men died in a 2007 mining accident some 35 miles down the highway. Virtually everyone around Price knew the men, six of whom remain entombed in the mountainside.
对这里的许多人而言，煤矿工作是他们所知的全部。艰难时期，也是煤矿产业将这片区域凝聚起来，特别是 2007 年发生的一起煤矿事故中， 9 名矿工在公路地面下近35英里处遇难的黑暗日子里。实际上，普赖斯镇周边的人都几乎认识这几位遇难者，其中六位仍葬身于长眠矿山之下。
But there is quiet acknowledgment that Carbon County will have to change — if not now, soon.
Pete Palacios, who worked in the mines for 43 years, has seen coal roar and fade here. Now 86, his eyes grew cloudy as he recalled his first mining job. He was 12, and earned $1 a day. “I’m retired, so I’ll be fine. But these young guys?” Pete Palacios said, his voice trailing off.
皮特·帕拉西奥斯（Pete Palacios）在煤矿工作已有43个年头了，在这里他在这里见证了煤炭行业的兴衰起落。如今86岁的他，回想起自己第一份采矿工作时热泪盈眶。那时他才12岁，每天挣1美元。“我现在退休了倒是没问题。但是那些年轻矿工呢？” 说这番话时，他的声音越来越低沉。
Located east of Guizhou, Tianzhu County is an important gateway from Sichuan, Chongqing and Guizhou to Guangxi, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. It has long been known as the “First Pass in East Guizhou”, the “home of Barite in China” and the “Gold City on the Guizhou Plateau”.
With a total area of 2,201 square kilometers, Tianzhu County is composed of 16 townships and 326 administrative villages. Ethnic minorities, predominantly Dong and Miao, constitute 98.3% of the local population of more than 410 thousand. It is one of the counties with the highest concentration of ethnicminorities in Guizhou.
Tianzhu boasts abundant natural resources. Endowed with moderate climate and fertile soil, it is a major grain production base in Guizhou and is reputed as the “Bread basket in East Guizhou”. It is also a major tobacco leaf producer in China with an annual output of 26 thousand dans (one dan=50 kilograms). Furthermore, the extensive forests in the county cover an area of 1.85 million mus (one mu=1/15 hectare), 56% of the county’s total area. Besides being one of the ten largest county-level bases offorest resources in Guizhou, it also abounds in barite, gold, coal and other mineral resources.
Benefiting from the country’s “go west” campaign, Tianzhu County has entered into a fast track ofdevelopment. Many encouraging changes in comprehensive strengths have takenplace in Tianzhu: steady economic growth, improvement of the people’s livelihood, adjustment and optimization of the industrial structure, as well asinfrastructure improvement. And today Tianzhu is presenting a new image featuring a sound ecological environment, developed culture and education,improved comprehensive services and habitat conditions, as well as a more vibrant economy to the world.