Are the feds finally slowing their mammoth regulating machine and shifting into reverse?

It appears that change is at long-last coming, beginning with operations up at the Colowyo Coal Company operating in Moffat and Rio Blanco Counties.

More than 200 jobs will be saved there because the Interior Department approved a plan Wednesday that allows operations to continue, but at a price.

Tri-State had to “donate” more than 4,500 acres of their property for the exclusive use of sage grouse, and submit a check for $150,000 to Colorado Parks and Wildlife to manage the property.

Tri-State appears to believe it worth the sacrifice, pointing out that in addition to the jobs, this agreement also means a $200 million impact to the regional economy and $12 million in local, state and federal tax revenue.

“This decision is important to the future of our member electric cooperatives and the people we serve,” said Mike McInnes, chief executive officer of Tri-State. “Our member electric cooperatives will continue to access a reliable fuel supply and the economic benefits from mining operations will be sustained for northwest Colorado communities.”

We are certainly thrilled that the mining plan has the go-ahead, but this Obama-approved method of extortion-like tactics that demand property and bribes financial donations in return for doing business is very worrisome, and we hope such methods will be discontinued in the Trump administration.