red tapeInterior Secretary Sally Jewell has been publicly absent during the entire Colowyo saga —- hiding behind the robes of Judge R. Brooke Jackson’s decision to rebureaucrat the mine’s existence while her minions luxuriate in a civil service process that gives them the power to kill critical energy jobs that provides electricity to 1.5 million consumers.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet has also been missing in action, that is until just days before the deadline to appeal the decision, when his office hastily arranged for meetings in Washington D.C. between numerous government agencies and an official from Moffat County.

Only then did Bennet’s office spring into action – calling numerous newspapers in Colorado to make sure the Democrat got credit for arranging meetings, while trying desperately to distance their boss from his responsibility on having handpicked Judge Jackson.

However, none of those D.C. meetings did a lick of good, as the Interior Department declined to appeal Judge Jackson’s decision. Probably because Bennet’s office neglected to include a single official from the Interior Department, which is responsible for this mess.

And here’s where that bureaucratic morass we warned you about threatens to derail the entire process:

There are only about 55 days left in the court order for the Interior’s mining office to complete the environmental review. After that, the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service has to review that decision, and under a different set of rules has 165 days to complete that.

You do the math.

Maybe if Bennet’s office had spent less time on damage control to the senator’s reelection efforts and more effort directing the problem to the proper authorities at the Interior Department, we would be closer to a resolution.

As U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner said during a visit to Craig on Friday:

“The secretary of the Interior needs to speak, and we need to hear the commitment from the highest levels of our government,” he said.