Editorial: A comeback for coal?

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Craig Editorial Board, Jan. to March 2012

  • Al Cashion, community representative
  • Jeff Pleasant, community representative
  • Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
  • Bridget Manley, newspaper representative
  • Chris Nichols, community representative
  • Josh Roberts, newspaper representative

Coal, it has especially seemed lately, has become a dirty word, and that’s nothing but bad news for our community’s economy, and the many residents and families the coal industry here supports.

However, a recent public presentation in Craig by an experienced energy consultant, should give us hope for the future, the Editorial Board contends.

On Thursday, Bob Wendling, an energy industry expert with more than 30 years of experience, spoke to a crowd of local residents at Moffat County High School as part of Yampa Valley Partners’ Fueling Thought Energy Summit.

Wendling’s seminar was titled “Energy Myths and Energy Realities.”

His message, in short: Coal is the most reliable and cost-effective form of energy out there.

Or, as he said it, “We have found that coal is the mainstay of the energy supply here in this country.”

That’s pretty much the same message many of our local coal representatives have been saying, but it carried more weight coming from an independent source.

It was enough to make the Editorial Board take notice, too.

Those words were soon accompanied by Wendling’s dissection of other energy sources, and the flaws or problems that accompany them when it comes to wide-scale consumer reliance.

Wendling’s presentation should come as reassuring to Craig and Moffat County residents, all of whom are impacted by our community’s coal production in some shape or form. We lean on the industry, and need it to keep thriving.

They should be especially reassured on the heels of the Colorado Legislature’s passage of House Bill 10-1365, otherwise known as the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act, which cast a shadow of uncertainty on our coal industry in the Yampa Valley.

That sham of a bill could very well hurt our community in the short term, but if Wendling is right about coal’s future — and let’s hope to the high heavens that he is — turning away from coal on a massive scale just won’t be practical.

If he’s right, not even politicians can honestly feel justified having a viable energy source and turning away from it.

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