Club 20 supporting coal industry

Moffat County Commission introduced to organization’s new policy

In other news, the Moffat County Commission:

• Approved, 3-0, payroll warrant resolutions ending Sept. 4 totaling $415,535.46.

• Approved, 3-0, a contract for services with Diversified Thermal Services, Inc., for parts and repair services to the Moffat County Ice Arena cooling system totaling $48,125.

• Approved, 3-0, a personnel requisition from the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office for a regular, part-time master control position at the Moffat County Jail.

• Approved, 3-0, a personnel requisition from the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office for a regular, part-time detention deputy at the Moffat County Jail.

• Approved, 3-0, a personnel requisition from the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office for a regular, full-time detention deputy at the Moffat County Jail.

• Approved, 3-0, an annual election of forest payments for 2011 totaling $37,420.

• Heard a monthly report from county road and bridge director Bill Mack.

Club 20, a Western Slope lobbying organization, unanimously agreed the coal industry in Colorado is vital to communities and local economies during a meeting Friday in Grand Junction.

Club 20 Chairman Jeff Comstock, who is also Moffat County’s natural resources director, discussed his organization’s support of the industry at the Moffat County Commission’s regular Tuesday meeting.

Comstock said Club 20 approved a policy stating the organization supports the viability of the coal industry and acknowledges the social and economic contributions it makes to local communities.

“The significance of this is huge because what it does is allows Club 20 to lobby on bills or regulations that would affect the coal industry,” Comstock said.

Comstock said Club 20 board members representing 22 counties approved the policy.

“It shows the importance of the energy industry,” Comstock said of the resolution passing unanimously.

Club 20 has lobbied for the coal industry in the past, Comstock said, but the organization has not had a direct resolution concerning it.

However, Comstock said it wasn’t until the previous legislative session and the passing of Colorado House Bill 10-1365, also known as the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act, that Club 20 became aware of the need for a formal, supportive coal policy.

“Coal was always a default, no-brainer,” he said. “In the past, Club 20 always said, ‘No one is going to challenge coal. Coal is a base-load fuel.’ Well, this legislature showed different.”

Club 20 has resolutions on renewable energy sources as well as natural gas and uranium, among others, which were approved in the past, but nothing on the books about coal, he said.

At the Friday meeting, Comstock said there was a lot of discussion about the meaning of H.B. 10-1365 and the impact the bill would have.

“I would actually characterize the entire debate as thoughtful, but no one at all against the recognition that coal is a base-load power supply that needed protection,” he said. “The debate was very non-controversial (and) very supportive.”

For more on this story, read Wednesday’s Craig Daily Press or visit www.craigdailypress.com.

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