The Denver Post discovered the Town of Craig in a Sunday article, but presented a rather sterile perspective of the federal trifecta of economic chaos racing towards the region.
The article includes the obligatory quotes from folks who are worried, a lot of facts and figures, and a glimpse of the impact the court’s ruling will have if the Colowyo mine is shuttered.
But the story neglects to realistically examine how the unholy convergence of the EPA, Interior Department, and a federal judge’s ruling, threatens to shutter the entire economy.
At stake are the 200 mining jobs that are threatened by a questionable court order, the result of a lawsuit brought by radical environmentalists. Then there are the power plants the coal fuels, which are also threatened by the new voluntary EPA carbon rules Gov. Hickenlooper has ordered the state to obey. And finally there’s the proposed endangered species listing of the sage grouse that proposes to shut down the West for natural resources business.
The article completely misrepresented the impact the sage grouse listing will have on the ranching industry.
The BLM estimates only 69,000 acres of prime sage grouse territory — out of 556,300 federal leased acres — will be closed to oil and gas development and there will be no broad restrictions on grazing.
However, this is the new
threat rule for grazing, and the grouse hasn’t even been listed yet:
The closure of grazing allotments and pastures will be considered to manage the area as a forage reserve. New grazing permits will be dependent upon its effects on grouse habitat.
We consider the threat of closed grazing allotments or revocation of permits to be a “broad restriction.”
The headline on the article is itself misleading, and sets the stage for the paper’s viewpoint:
Moffat County facing fate of the changing West
It’s not that the West is changing so much, it’s liberal billionaires like Tom Steyer who view our backyard as their privileged playground, and they are paying major bucks to fund Big Green to lobby Washington and get their way.
The Post’s preferred solution, they touted, was for Northwest Colorado to reinvent its economy to focus on outdoor business.
Sadly, and ironically, this too would be in vain if the sage grouse is listed as an endangered species, as the outdoors would be declared private property for that damn bird and a “No Trespassing” sign erected.
The Post did make one valid point: this is a wake-up call, but it’s to protect the economy we have, and our entire western way of life.