It took almost a full week for delicate Senator Michael Bennet, to chime in on the imminent regulatory action threatening to derail the Colowyo Mine and its 220 employees in Moffat County. This mine supplies coal to the largest coal-fired power plant in Colorado, Craig Station, and is under threat from a lawsuit filed by WildEarth Guardians.
It was Sunday, May 17 when the Craig Daily Press reported that Senator Cory Gardner drafted a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to rein in her regulators at the Office of Surface Mining, a Carter-era environmental agency within the Interior Department.
The WildEarth Guardians suit claims that the Office of Surface Mining made mistakes approving mining operations at the Colowyo Mine. They found a sympathetic federal judge, Brooke Jackson, who agreed and ordered an environmental review of the mine’s operations to be completed in 120 days.
By the way, could we just apply the Keystone Pipeline standard of environmental review timelines to this operation? Who knew one of these fancy environmental reviews could be commissioned and produced in a four month window!
Western Colorado should be concerned by Senator Bennet’s relative lack of effort on this urgent matter, especially when compared to the actions by Senator Gardner, Representative Tipton, and the local elected leaders on the Western Slope. Bennet’s interests clearly lie elsewhere.