Jewell will hear from Moffat on Friday
Grand Junction Sentinel
July 15, 2015
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will meet Friday in Glenwood Springs with Moffat County commissioners who had hoped she would visit Craig, where residents are worried about the possible closure of the Colowyo coal mine and the loss of 220 jobs.
Jewell is to meet at 8 p.m. with the Moffat County group, Commissioner John Kinkaid said Wednesday.
Her visit will follow a speech to the Aspen Institute earlier on Friday. Jewell is to raft the Arkansas River though Browns Canyon National Monument on Saturday.
The Moffat County commission, as well as state and federal officials, have urged Jewell and federal officials to act to protect the mine and its jobs.
One of Interior’s agencies, the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement, is scrambling to complete an environmental assessment that a Denver federal judge deemed necessary to keep open the Colowyo coal mine.
Kinkaid had invited Jewell to visit Craig while she is in Colorado, saying that it is “important for Ms. Jewell to show our miners that she does care about them and their futures.”
The agency has a September deadline set by Judge R. Brooke Jackson to complete an analysis of the mine’s effect on climate change.
The Interior Department opted against appealing the judge’s ruling and deadline for the federal agency’s review.
Advancing Colorado, a conservative organization, criticized Jewell for ignoring Craig and going rafting instead, saying she needed “a cold splash of water” to understand the threat to Craig and to coal.
Jewell’s visit to Browns Canyon, which was designated a national monument in February, is intended to “highlight the importance of the conservation of outdoor recreation space in our country,” said the West End Strategy Team, which is identified with liberal issues.