WASHINGTON D.C. – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced today that he, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) have sent a letter to the Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell regarding the Colowyo Mine in Northwestern Colorado.
The mine is threatened by a recent Federal Court decision which determined that the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) plan for the mine failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. This decision threatens the continued operation of the mine, despite the fact that it previously obtained and has been operating under all necessary permits and regulations.
The Senators’ letter requests that the Secretary hold a community meeting in Northwest Colorado to hear from those who would be affected by the mine’s closure, and asks that the Secretary appeal the Court’s decision. The letter reads, in part:
Colowyo is vital to the regional economy, employing over 200 people at the mine and providing coal for electricity generation to our states. These employees, the surrounding communities, and businesses should be made aware of the agency’s plans and whether or not OSM will appeal the decision alongside Colowyo. As such, we encourage you to hold a community meeting in the region to start a discourse and ensure concerns are addressed.
We would like to express our sincere appreciation for your actions thus far and request that you appeal the Court’s decision. Thank you for your time and attention, and we look forward to hearing back whether you will hold a community meeting in this region.
The full text of the letter can be read here.