County for coal

Commission signs resolution supporting coal industry

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Other action

At its Monday meeting, the Moffat County Commission:

• Approved a $3,500 tax abatement for Qwest Communications, which was supported by the state.

The Moffat County Commission is concerned for the future of coal and natural gas.

At its Monday meeting, the Commission passed a resolution supporting the National Mining Association's "Position on Climate Change Policies."

The document largely urges state and federal legislators to consider impacts on fossil fuel industries when they push for alternative energy sources and environmental legislation.

"Any future policies and initiatives on energy that support renewables and so on also need to support coal," Commissioner Tom Gray said. "The emphasis on better technology for clean energy should apply to all sources, not just purely renewables like wind and solar."

The commissioner added that coal is vitally important to Moffat County's future.

"Between the (Tri-State coal-fired) power plant and the coal mines, they are the biggest employers, the biggest primary businesses and the biggest taxpayers," Gray said.

He added that he thinks it's likely the energy industry will be affected by the recent election's largely Democratic outcome.

"That's just basically a reflection of some of the policies we see now, even on the state level," Gray said.

He mentioned one policy to subsidize windmill farms with severance tax revenue as an example. Severance taxes are charged on all natural resources harvested in Colorado and sold outside the state and are almost entirely paid by energy companies.

"Where severance tax money is used to subsidize windmills, it should also be used for clean coal technology," Gray said.

Ray DuBois, president and general manager for Trapper Mining Inc. and a National Mining Association board member, brought the issue to the Commission.

After the meeting, he said the coal industry wants to be part of the country's energy future.

"The coal industry fully recognizes the need to look at all energy sources, but we also understand that none of those will be the silver bullet to our problems," DuBois said.

He added that he does not expect President-elect Barack Obama or newly elected Colorado Senator Mark Udall to push an anti-coal agenda.

"I think both gentlemen understand coal is important to the country and the world, and you just can't take it away at this point," DuBois said. "But, there are those in government that would do that."

DuBois added, however, he is concerned with statements Obama has made to tax power plants for all greenhouse gas emissions, which could make coal power plants too expensive to operate.

He doesn't expect the county commissioners to be able to tell the federal government what to do, but he was encouraged he could add more local voices to those that support the coal industry's future.

Gray also said he doesn't expect to accomplish many material gains on the issue, but was glad to support a cause he thinks is beneficial for the county and the country.

"I think it just adds one more voice to the many voices of reason out there," Gray said.

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdailypress.com

Comments

cantstandtexans 6 years, 1 month ago

I see a future without fossil fuels Tom Gray. But your thoughts that a Democratic Party led federal government...come January...will instantly target your industry for destruction isn't gonna happen and I feel most people know that it's high time to begin a transition away from your commodity.

How many more years does Tri State have left in that massive coal bed? 20 years? Looking at the future....Conversion over to sustainable energy can be a life line to the employees and the economy of Moffat County. It's not as though everyone is going to switch over to solar and wind power within the next 20 years. In fact...your business connections can operate for many decades to come if a deliberate action of conversion were to begin. How much money does it cost to maintain Tri State? How much fuel does it take just to produce electricity from that plant? I know those massive excavation behemoths ripping into that coal bed run on some of the power produced by Tri State...but maintenance is sure to be massive as well.

All I saying here is this. Don't start in on something that hasn't happened. Which may never happen. We will need coal into the next 20+ years at the least. I'm sure your job and jobs of all employees of Tri State are not in danger. But there has to be a movement away from coal. And for that matter...natural gas. Crude oil for sure. Most everyone is convinced of this and it will eventually take place.

If I could...I'd go solar and wind. Why doesn't Tri State invest more into these two proven energy producers? Money is money and technologies that are being refined are showing that wind and solar can produce just as much energy without the ensuing pollution factors. You do like money don't you? If I had the money...I'm seeing opportunities approaching. Nano Source is in the infancy of development of printed solar cells that will bring down solar cost by as much as 90%!! It still will cost a lot of money for someone to convert over...but don't slam a new administration because jobs need to be created across the nation. Your job is secure as is your industry!

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luvbug 6 years, 1 month ago

cantstandtexans you say you "can't stand Texans" but you sound like one!

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cantstandtexans 6 years, 1 month ago

Well Patrick....what I said about this company called Nano Source is true. Imagine solar cells costing roughly 10% of what they do now! So....let's say that a solar system to power my home is going to cost me approximately at today's prices....we'll use that $18,000 figure. By the way, there are lower costing systems out there and do it mostly yourself systems that would cost about half of that $18,000....yup...this is true. So now we're down to $9,000.

Here goes. At $200 per month equates to $2,400 per year for electricity. In 5 years Patrick....your system would be paid for. And not to contradict whoever gave you your figures you're using....you will have enough power from a $9,000 system that will meet your electrical needs.

Take it a step further. Depending where you live here in Moffat county....you could go wind power. For approximately $15,000.....SkyStream systems will give you around 1,000 kilowatts of power each month. Combine that with A Nano Source solar cell system or a basic/mostly do it yourself system for $9,000 = a cost of $24,000. I have news for you Patrick. You'd be selling power back to Yampa Valley Power and getting a check every month for this excess power "YOU'D" be generating!! And with no monthly power bill to boot!!!

Recap: You're being told a average home uses around 2,000 kilowatts per month. That's close actually. With an adequate solar and cell system...the system will be paid for in less than eight years.

You need to check into a competitively priced system. Whoever price that system to you seems to have not given you the correct information.

One more point I'll state. I have no idea where you live in Moffat county Patrick. I've no idea what codes there are within the city limits of Craig that might prohibit a wind tower. All I know is...where I'm at, wind would power my home almost completely. But I have very low energy appliances and use compact fluorescent bulbs throughout the home. The bulbs alone have cut my power consumption almost in half. And by the way...if every home in the U.S.A. and every business used these lights exclusively...electrical consumption in the U.S. would amount to only 30% of current usage. So....why isn't that being talked about more than switching away from coal? Kind of makes you wonder doesn't it!!

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cantstandtexans 6 years, 1 month ago

Oh...by the way there luvbug. I asure you I am "NOT" a Texan!! Yup...I've been there and I got out of that state A.S.A.P!!!!! Jesus A. Christ!! Not a good place to live...in my humble opinion! HAHAHAHAHA!! OH...just letting loose a little. But I haven't a clue as to why you'd think or say I sound like a Texan.

No offense please.....but yes...I have a real difficult time being around Texans. What pisses me off is their incisive references that how Texas is so great. Well....why do they come to Colorado then? Why don't they hunt exclusively in Texas. Why do many Texans move to Colorado if Texas is so damned great??!!!! Etc, etc, etc,.

See!! Now I'm getting steamed!!! Sorry....but yes...Texas can leave the Union of the United States any time they want to.....and this time...we'll not stop them!!!!!

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taxslave 6 years, 1 month ago

About them lightbulbs. Read the label. They are filled with mercury and if you break one you are supposed to call a HazMat Team.

Imagine your kid breaking one of them in his room.

Go green, glow in the dark.

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50cal 6 years, 1 month ago

wind power Pat, you have to figure that in. the wind is always blowing here. mostly because wyoming sucks but you need to take advantage of it where you can.

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Neal Harkner 6 years, 1 month ago

tax - ALL fluorescent lights, including the big tube lights, those cool black lights and the ones in tanning beds have mercury in them. The ballast excites the mercury vapor, causing it to release photons that produce ultraviolet light. Those photons then interact with the phosphor in the lamp (the white powder) to produce visible light.

It's not just CFLs, breaking a tube light is just as hazardous. Don't buy into the tripe being disseminated by Rush Limbaugh et. al. about CFL bulbs. The ONLY difference between a tube fluorescent bulb and a CFL is the ballast. The CFL bulb has the ballast built-in and the tube light doesn't.

CFL bulbs cost about 75-80% less to run than incandescent bulbs. If I broke a lightbulb every day I'd be worried but I can count on one finger the number of bulbs I've shattered in the last decade.

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cantstandtexans 6 years, 1 month ago

Yes taxslave...there is mercury in the Compacts....for now. But there isn't much mercury in the CFB's as you might think. However...I would wear a disposable glove to clean up a busted CFB. That I assure you.

News is taxslave and these are being developed rapidly...there in development of mercury free CFB's as we comment. In other words....the mercury compact's won't be around very much longer. That's good thing.

Patrick...google up wholesale solar cells and systems distributors. They are a growing concern and there's many of them out there. Yup...be careful however. 50cal has brought up the same avenue as I did. Wind can and does produce more power for the buck than solar does. For now. Again...SkyStream is the front runner in a break through wind turbine than any other plus you don't really need all the storage capacity with this wind turbine. In other words....if you don't want all the bells and whistles with batteries and inverters and solar cells.....the SkyStream 3.7 is the ticket.

There are ways Patrick to use low cost heating to your home. Why not a solar air heater? Easy to build and attractive to look at (If you can build things) and it works, even in very low temperatures....such as Craig has. All you need is sunshine. Another avenue...is a sealed solar fluid heater that you can build....it uses the nn toxic anti-freeze pumped into and up thru collectors....copper piping...then back into the house and thru a heat exchanger with a low voltage fan blowing recycled air thru this radiator looking exchanger and then back out to reheat. But...you need sunshine...which Craig has even during the cold months. Will continue.........

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cantstandtexans 6 years, 1 month ago

You can build the same solar fluid heater to produce hot water as well. How hot do you want your water? 120 degrees is about as hot as you'd want your water. Any hotter and you're talking scalding!! Ouch! Try this...take a 5 gallon plastic water jug filled with water and place it in a sealed insulated container with one side facing the sun.....even at this time of the year. Keep it facing the sun and check in a couple of hours on the temperature with a simple food thermometer. You'd be surprised how warm this water will be. Same concept and you can build these solar heaters economically and attractively to boot. I will be starting my heating projects next spring.

Honestly folks...I hate paying hard earned money out when you and I can produce these luxuries with our own hands. Because....what if? I'm not a doomsayer preacher...but...what if things completely collapse? I don't know about you...but I like myself to not...SMELL!! 90 degree water is just about right to take a shower. And....all the parts can be obtained at the local hardware/lumber/plumbing/heating supply houses here in Craig.

Patrick....I forgot to say this about SkyStream....you can simply install this wind turbine between the meter and the house breaker box. SkyStream has a built in inverter and breaking system....which will produce up to 80% and depending...of all your power needs for your home. Southwest Power is the patent rights holder for this turbine.

Mother Earth News has many fine plans for solar heating. Update: There's a company located in Austin, Texas.(Damned Texans!!!!!) that has just started construction of a new printed solar cell plant. Their print cells are 12% efficient....not bad!!! It appears that there are silicon based solar cells that are approaching 33% efficiency...but these are time consuming to assemble and produce. Time will tell.

<p>wholesalesolar.com is a good starting point to get an idea of solar or solar/wind off grid systems or hybrid system with grid ties.....I'd like to sell some power back to Yampa Valley Power!!!! But a system designed for off grid thru these guys runs almost $17,000!! But you'd be self contained with that system. So...whoever stated prices to you....do your home work. Yeah...$17,000 is Heap Big Wampum!! Info to feed your ambitions.

Peace.

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cantstandtexans 6 years, 1 month ago

O.K.....my 5 gallon water jug test I described lack one feature....a piece of clear polycarbonite secured to the insulated box with the clear polycarbonite facing the sun. HelioVolt is the name of the company that just broke ground on that 122,000+ square foot production plant in Austin, Texas. DAMNED TEXANS!!!!

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50cal 6 years, 1 month ago

geothermal that's the next big ticket Pat. you can now bury loops of tubing in the ground and run water through it. that cools it to 55 degrees you use a 24 volt pump ran off your thermostat to circulate the water thru a coil on your heater, thus using your blower to cool your house in the summer. in less extreme environments people can use it in the winter to heat the house some.

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lonelyone 6 years, 1 month ago

Cantstand, Tri-State is working on wind power............over on the eastern plains because that is where the wind is. A couple years ago we had some law passed that said power companies had to start producing green power and there is a figure they have to use. According to the size of the current company, they must take a % of that and build green. As much as you say the wind blows around it, it's not enough to build wind generators. Look at the A framed house out on highway 13 by the river. They put up a wind generator many years ago and it just never workd for them.........just not enough wind. I do agree that there needs to be cheaper heat for many of our friends and neighbors tho. And please don't blame Tri-state for your heating bills. Craig gets it's electricity from Yampa Valley Electric and they get it from Public Service. Tril-State has had to increase their rates a time or two in the past few years, but it does't seem to be as much as Public Service........but Yampa Valley Electric has tried hard not to raise rates to it's consummers too. I don't know how long they will be able to keep doing that, but I think, even tho I do my share of complaining, they are trying.

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Ray Cartwright 6 years, 1 month ago

In a cold northwest Colorado winter it might just be a big help to warm your house to 55° and then use the furnace to bring up the temperature to 68°

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cantstandtexans 6 years, 1 month ago

Yes....I am aware Tri State has invested in wind energy. We had an option to buy power from those wind turbines. But, in light of our future efforts to enhance our comforts with cheap solar air heating and the solar fluid heating panels using low voltage circulation pumps and pumping this heated fluid across a heat exchanger, installed in the ventilation duct work of our house.

50cal....geothermal is a very outstanding way to go. You can have a geothermal company drill and place a loop into and out of the ground. Usually around a depth of 100 feet, and using propylene glycol (non toxic anti-freeze) as the heating/cooling agent. But this kind of system costs around $14,000. But they do work cheaply however...but...I need to go....I'll continue tomorrow.

Peace

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cantstandtexans 6 years, 1 month ago

Have time. Yes...You can excavate out soil and place either copper (Which will start to corrode slowly buried in the soil) or pvc 4 to 6 inch piping off a manifold and back into the house via duct work for heating and cooling...being that the constant earth temp at 5+ feet is around 55 degrees.....give or take a little. But...you've got to have the space to excavate and then paying someone with a backhoe. a area around 20 feet wide by 50 feet long may be all you'd need for this. I have that space and more...but if not...then in comes the drilling rigs and a closed loop system. Funny thing about geothermal. I know of new homes down Junction way with this system. The homes do not have natural gas installed. Homes very cool in the summer and pleasantly nice in the coldest time of the year. But...we all know Grand Junction stays much warmer than Craig. You'd need a little help Patrick with the heating during the coldest times...but then there's the insulation factor.

Bottom line people...yes....coal will be around for years to come despite rumors of Obama smashing the coal industry. That simply will not happen. But yes....there are viable alternatives available. My home is very well insulated.....we're talking R28( sprayed in foam closed cell polyurethane) in the walls and R50 (cellulose over one foot thick) in the attic areas. Tight construction....no drafts, etc, etc. But I'm still gonna start with solar heating via fluid and air. I believe the cost of this will be paid for after two winters here in Craig. God I'm a tight wad!!! I just hate paying out money for something I can obtain almost free of charge!!!

Good luck Patrick. But remember...solar cost are coming down....not super fast but steadily coming down. Think of it this way. When gasoline was being refined in it's infancy, there wasn't all you wanted. The amount of gasoline then that could be produced was only 20% for every gallon of crude....or 1/5 recovery. It wasn't til chemists discovered a new formulation that produce 1/2 gallon for every gallon of crude that gas started flowing adequately to the open market. That was the main reason we out produced and out supplies Nazi Germany during WW2. Germany didn't have a good refining formula...but Germany did produce a hell of a lot of Synthetic fuel....and alcohol. Synthetic fuel was being produced with....ready? You got it!! COAL!!! Fascinating.

I'll shut up. But coal will be around for years to come. So relax folks...we'll be alright..."IF"...we start now as Patrick as pointed out.

Good Night

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