The fight to save families and workers in Craig is not over
DENVER—Last night, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell reassured northwest Colorado officials the U.S. Department of the Interior will complete a study needed to save the Colowyo coal mine from being shut down. While confident the review will be completed before the 120-day deadline, in the instance it is not, the Interior “will ask for an extension.” A preliminary assessment is expected for public comment at the end of July.
“Secretary Jewell thankfully responded to the pleas and pressure from Coloradans, which is a positive development in this uncertain situation. Now, we have to hope and pray the families and workers in Craig triumph,” said Jonathan Lockwood, executive director of Advancing Colorado, a free market advocacy group. “We need to remember who instigated this: the out-of state special interest group WildEarth Crusaders and a federal judge. WildEarth thinks it is worth strangling one of our communities to satisfy their extreme and unpopular form of out-of-control environmentalism.”
The worry of a shut down resulted after U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson’s ruling sided with Santa Fe-based WildEarth Guardians in their lawsuit against the Colowyo coal mine, which provides 220 jobs. The 220 jobs in Craig are said to be equivalent to 50,000 jobs in Denver.
Recently, Jewell rejected pleas to request a delay of the judge’s Colowyo mine order. Jewell agreed to meet with northwest Colorado county commissioners after finally bowing to public pressure and outrage.
WildEarth Guardians’ list of supporters quickly dwindled down from 605 to 151 by June 18, originally reported by the Craig Daily Press, and has since been removed. The loss of support followed a huge wave of community backlash.