US lawmakers, Moffat County press EPA to relocate coal hearings to Craig

photo

Scott Tipton

photo

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a plan that would mandate coal-fired power plants cut their carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Then the agency set up a 120-day comment period and hearings across the country — one in Denver will be held during the week of July 28.

But many want the location to be in areas where coal energy is produced, such as Moffat County.

Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid said this demonstrated that the EPA and federal government were out of touch with the industry they were regulating.

“I guess they want to be stuck in their ivory towers,” Kinkaid said. “To me, it’s again a disconnect instead of reaching out to people whose lives they’re touching.”

He reached out to U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., to see if they were supportive of the EPA regulation hearings being held in Moffat County, near Craig Station.

The hearings are "not out of where the people who have to live with the decisions really are,” Kinkaid said. “This is an attempt to bring a decision-making process to the place that’s going to be impacted the most.”

Bennet’s office confirmed that the senator did press the EPA to consider hosting the hearings elsewhere, said Kristin Lynch, Bennet’s press secretary.

“We called the EPA to make sure they were aware Moffat County wanted the hearing there, and to make sure they were giving consideration to the request,” she said in an email.

Tipton said he was drafting a formal letter to the EPA pressing them to host a hearing in Craig.

“It’s remarkable that they’re going to (make) rules that impact our community, our jobs and they don’t want to have any kind of a hearing (in the area) that will be most dramatically impacted,” he said. “These unilateral decisions are impacting real lives and real people.”

The letter should go out within the week, Tipton said.

“I think bipartisanship on this is wonderful,” Kinkaid said. “I hope it makes a difference. I don’t think it’s a Republican or Democrat issue — or at least it shouldn’t be — because this is something that’s going to benefit the middle class.”

Contact Erin Fenner at 970-875-1794 or efenner@CraigDailyPress.com.

Community comments

Note: The Steamboat Pilot & Today doesn’t necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy.

(Mark Ruckman) blueruck says...

The concern my Moffat county is understandable but the front range has more coal plants than NW Colorado. The front range doesn't have coal mines.

Pic of where coal power plants are located
http://www.powermag.com/wp-content/up...

Posted 13 June 2014, 12:17 p.m. Suggest removal

(jerry carlton) jlc says...

Like the federal government bureaucrats care what the people they supposedly work for think. Eliminate coal and then we will be more dependent on middle east oil, which is soon to be cut off from Iraq and who knows where next.

Posted 13 June 2014, 8:03 p.m. Suggest removal

(rhys jones) highwaystar says...

I dunno, Jerry. They're finding tons of natural gas right here, in Wyoming, North Dakota, B.C.... gas-fired turbines are popping up all over... I don't know how operating costs compare, but gas is a MUCH cleaner source of combustion. Call me a leftie pinko, but I could envision a shift away from coal for purely environmental reasons, were we not so heavily vested in it already.

Posted 13 June 2014, 9:08 p.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

Operating costs for Nat. Gas fired power plants are way above coal. Admittedly it's cleaner.<P>However, just like the tar-sands oil of Alberta, the coal will likely find it's way on to the world stage. We can burn it here with relatively clean emissions, or China will burn it and guess how their emissions compare!!<P>Those who make comparisons in their vacuum about commodities such as oil, nat gas, etc should look up the word "fungible".

Posted 14 June 2014, 7:21 a.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

And the environmental argument you make is getting killed because the same environmentalists who oppose coal also oppose fracking for nat gas. The price has almost quadruppled in the past 3 years <P>If they get thyeir way you electric bill will double in the next few years. Then it will double again and again.<P>And they will blame the higher priced results of their war on fossil fuels on "evil", "greedy" corporations, and considering the american peoples 4th grade(and that's generous) understanding of economics, their lies will probably stick...

Posted 14 June 2014, 7:27 a.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

I wonder when or if the "affordable housing" do-gooder folks might ever take up the cause of "affordable energy"???<P>My guess is THAT aspect of people's lives can remain or become UN-affordable for all they care...

Posted 14 June 2014, 7:30 a.m. Suggest removal

Post a comment (Requires free registration)

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.