Interior Department won’t pursue appeal of Colowyo shut-down ruling

Interior Department won’t pursue appeal of Colowyo shut-down ruling

 DENVER— The U.S. Department of the Interior has decided not to pursue an appeal of U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson’s ruling against the Colowyo coal mine, which provides 220 jobs. The May 8 ruling in favor of WildEarth Guardians, the Santa Fe-based anti-coal group, has sparked outrage across the state and hundreds of companies have dropped their support of the radical group.

“What we are seeing is an attack on the livelihoods of Coloradans by anti-energy special interests based out of Santa Fe, coupled with a lack of action from the department of the interior despite lawmakers on both sides of the aisle coming together to fight for the mine,” said Jonathan Lockwood, executive director of Advancing Colorado, a free market advocacy group. “If this mine is shut down we will see a community economically crippled and families hurt, all in the name of radical special interests. What did the hardworking families in Craig ever do to deserve this?” 

Lee Boughey, Tri-State’s senior manager of corporate communications and public affairs, told the Craig Daily Press that they were disappointed that the government did not appeal the federal district court’s decision.

The ruling concluded the Interior Department’s office of surface mining “fell short” in its 2007 permit allowing the mine to expand, by failing to comply with the strict regulations surrounding public notice and air quality control.

The Colowyo mine provides electricity to neighboring states, which has caused other states’ senators to join Colorado lawmakers in asking the Department of Interior to help keep the Colowyo Mine open. The mine provides coal to Tri-State power, which also supplies electricity to western Nebraska.