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Locations of Gas Plants and Other Coal-tar Sites in the U.S.

THE STATE OF UTAH

Introduction

            Utah, with vast spaces, punctuated in gas-time by small towns, was never notably developed to manufactured gas. Gas plants swiftly followed the passage of the transcontinental railroad in 1869, with Mormon track-laying labor being repaid in rails and rolling stock sufficient to bring an indigenous Utah Central Railroad down from Ogden to Salt Lake City early in 1870.

            Coal was abundant in south-central Utah and gas was in place at Salt Lake City by 1873, and followed by gas works at Ogden and Provo. For a brief time, in the late 1880ís the Federal government operated the Salt Lake City plant as a confiscated property during the course of the Edmunds-Tucker Act, which briefly led to disincorporation of the Church of the Later Day Saints.
           
            The manufactured gas companies were Utah-financed and remained stable until the inevitable consolidation, which occurred in the 1920s. The consolidating entity, Utah Power & Light Company (formed 1910) became the sole gas utility. Utahís outlying towns were almost all agrarian in nature and did not represent sufficient capital to finance manufactured gas works. The various financing schemes attendant with the lower-cost electric power generators and sufficient stream power in the Rocky Mountain portion of the State lead to widespread alternate lighting use of electricity after about 1890. Utah was the second to last state to establish public regulation (1917) of utilities and records show it to have been a non-proactive watchdog, responding mainly to complaints.

            Beehive coke ovens were established at Beaver County and in batteries at Sunnyside and Castle Gate, in Carbon County (1902) and were operated in the non-by-product mode until closure by U.S. Steel Corporation in 1954. Steel mills were of the pig-iron supply type, but transition into the use by-product coke ovens, beginning with the 1923 construction of the Columbia Steel plant at Ironton, near Provo. Salt Lake City promoters brought San Francisco capital into Provo, mainly from the Pacific Gas & Electric Company. The works was sold to U.S. Steel Corporation in 1929.

            Abundant natural gas had passed through the Wasatch-Front cities by 1934 via Uinta Basin Field pipeline, terminating at Pocatello, Idaho.

Click the blue "EPA" link below to view the
 Utah map of the EPA 1985 Radian FMGP Report.

Click the green "Hatheway" link below to view the
 Utah map of Professor Hatheway's research.

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