Red tape and paper-pushing, that’s what Interior Secretary Sally Jewell promised local officials who met with her Friday night about the future of the Colowyo mine.

Jewell offered little, except to say her agency was on track to finish yet another study on the mine’s environmental impact, unless of course they missed the deadline, in which case it would take longer to finish it.

So there you have it.

No compassion for the miners whose jobs are on the line, no reassuring words for consumers whose electricity rates would soar if the mine is shuttered, no Plan B for the local economy.

According to tweets from Marjorie Haun, Jewell seemed more interested in having an “honest” discussion about the future of coal. And by future, the Obama administration means it does not intend for the industry to actually have one.

She basically adopted the talking points of WildEarth Guardians who said the same thing about coal, minus their “tough shit” compassion for the mine’s impending closure.

Even though Jewell refused to actually meet with miners in the affected towns of Craig and Meeker, locals showed up in Glenwood Springs to make sure their voices were heard.



In between her original schedule of Aspenizing and rafting, Jewell slummed down to the hot springs lodge to meet with U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid, Craig Mayor Ray Beck and other local leaders.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who backed the confirmations of Jewell and the judge whose decision created this mess, did not attend the meeting.

Kelly Maher, executive director of Compass Colorado, noted in a statement that Bennet’s choice of friends has put him at odds with his constituents – he chose to go to a rafting media event with Jewell today rather than address the impending crisis. The rafting excursion is a thinly veiled lobbying effort to con more money out of Congress to purchase even more private property for the federal holdings through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

“Bennet supported the key players who are putting Colorado jobs at risk, and is now making time for lobby events rather than urging a dialogue with the people of Craig. Instead of lobbying for federal lands, Colorado demands that Bennet lobby for Craig’s jobs,” Maher said. “Making time for a press event with the players responsible for this situation instead of making time for the people of Craig shows who Bennet represents, and it’s not Colorado.”