Ravell Call, Deseret News
Utah residents rally outside the Salt Lake City office of the federal Bureau of Land Management in Salt Lake City, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 in opposition to the agency's plan to allow the expansion of a strip coal mine near Bryce Canyon National Park.

The Bureau of Land Management should protect our land from the expansion of the Alton Coal Mine rather than permit it to move forward. Although there are many reasons why this would create a significant negative impact to the local area, in a broader context, the most compelling issue is the emissions that would be created by the coal that would be extracted.

We need to be phasing out the use of coal as an energy source and focus on the development of renewable forms of energy instead. We must consider the benefit to our natural surroundings and the health and well-being of all people by preventing further expansion of this mine.

The BLM's stated mission is "to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations." We are at a time in history where it is critical that we consider the long-term consequences of burning coal over the short-term financial gain for the sake of future generations.

Bill Barron

Salt Lake City