Tony St. John, a Craig resident and retired coal miner, reacts to a speaker at a rally on the west steps of the state capitol in Denver. The rally, organized to protest Colorado House Bill 10-1365, featured several speakers from Northwest Colorado and the coal industry.

Photo by Brian Smith

Tony St. John, a Craig resident and retired coal miner, reacts to a speaker at a rally on the west steps of the state capitol in Denver. The rally, organized to protest Colorado House Bill 10-1365, featured several speakers from Northwest Colorado and the coal industry.

Coal miners, community members rally on capitol steps against coal bill

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Jeremy Guarasci, 26, a coal miner at Twentymile Coal Co., holds up a sign Thursday at a rally on the west steps of the state capitol in Denver. The rally was organized in opposition to Colorado House Bill 10-1365, also known as the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act.

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Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers speaks Thursday to a crowd of about 150 people on the west steps of the state capitol as part of a rally protesting Colorado House Bill 10-1365. Mathers urged residents to testify to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission about the adverse effects he said the bill would have on the coal industry and communities.

DENVER — Craig resident and retired coal miner Tony St. John had a message Thursday for Gov. Bill Ritter when he began his speech at a rally on the west steps of the state capitol in Denver.

“Shame on you,” he said. “Shame on you with (Colorado) House Bill 10-1365 and shame on … those legislators that voted for it.”

St. John then asked the crowd of about 150 people to join him in sharing that message.

“If you would all look up there with me, and on the count of three say ‘Shame on you,” he said pointing to the capitol building.

St. John was one of several speakers representing Northwest Colorado and the coal industry at a rally protesting Colorado House Bill 10-1365, also known as the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act.

Many of the 150 people at the rally wore clothing advocating for clean coal technology and waived signs with messages such as “Xcel gain = our loss,” and “Save west slope jobs.”

St. John said state legislators “never” think of the Western Slope when making decisions.

“They only think about the Western Slope when they need us,” he said. “Whatever they need, they’ll come to us and kiss us really sweet.”

Craig resident Lynne Herring spoke at the rally about the impacts the bill could have on her family’s small business.

Herring said the bill could force her business to lose half its customers.

“Our business is standing on the line because of what they are doing,” she said.

Herring also said she was “just plain tired of being lied to.”

“This has nothing to do with clean jobs,” she said. “This has nothing to do with clean air. This has to do with money. They are taking money out of my pocket and your pocket and this is not right.”

When Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers spoke, he made no secret of his stance on the bill.

“My choice is coal,” he said, receiving cheers and applause from the crowd.

Mathers urged those at the rally to testify to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission about how they will be impacted by the bill.

“You can complain about … how you are going to be on welfare, (but) they don’t care,” he said of the PUC. “They’re here just to listen to how a rate increase is going to affect you.

“When you go down and talk to them, tell them about losing your jobs, but don’t forget to tell them, ‘How can I pay a larger rate increase if I don’t have a job?’”

Colorado Mining Association President Stuart Sanderson led his speech to the rally by reminding residents “that mining built this state.”

“Do you think that this legislature and the governor cared about your jobs?” he asked people at the rally.

The crowd responded by shouting, “No.”

“You are right and that is unfortunate,” Sanderson said.

Sanderson said he was glad the rally was held in the sunshine on the capitol steps.

“It is about time to bring Colorado’s laws, to bring the Public Utilities Commission, to bring Xcel Energy, make them come out in the sunshine and do business,” he said.

As the rally finished, many of the attendees crossed the street to listen to a rally in support of the bill.

In the back of the crowd stood Ryan Venzke, a coal miner at Twentymile Coal Co.

“It’s a joke,” he said looking at a group of people wearing surgical masks and yellow shirts with the message “beyond coal” printed on them.

“The jobs they say they are creating, they’re not,” he said.

Venzke said if he could get behind the podium, he would tell the bill’s supporters they should pay more attention “to where the backbone of the state is.”

Clay Copeland, a coal miner from Twentymile, also watched the bill’s supportive rally.

Copeland said he thought much of their message was misleading.

“I think they are covering up the actual … facts with this clean air thing,” he said. “They are playing on something that they can pull people in (with) and not the truth.”

Moreover, the crowd of supporters made Copeland confused, he said.

“Why (do) people all the time complain about not being told the truth, yet so many people continue to tell lies?” he said.

Comments

taxslave 3 years, 6 months ago

While they have you all distracted by this bill it got even worse this week......

Our Oceans, Coasts & Ports were handed over to the UN this week without a vote from congress.....Treaty of the Sea was accomplished without anyone even watching.

The UN controlling all of this stuff means they control the OIL imports.

I warned about this clean air act over two years ago.....link is in the archieves. You are not getting your money's worth with your representation in Craig. If they tell you they didn't know about it then that's because they aren't doing their job in the first place. I knew and I'm nobody.

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wellwell 3 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations to all that went to Denver to put forth the opinion of many on the Clean Jobs, Clean Air Bill. I really wanted to be part of the effort, but was unable due to work.

Taxslave

I researched the "Treaty of the Sea" and found it to be a work of the UN. It is the "world government" effort that is being pushed by UN participants which is heavy funded by the US, but the US recieves very little in return. What I found was the want to open the surrounding sea mile limits to ships to sail thru without interference and subitems of pollution control and pressure points on the polluters to conform. That is telling the content softly, but its use would be very bad for national security and economy.

I also found that during the Bill Clinton administration in 1994, we became a signator to these actions, but not ratified. Reagen fought it and Bush 1 & 2 took no action as I could find. Well, well here we are with Obama and something has been done again.

I really would like to know more about the oil and port control. What was enacted this week, what government body enacted the measure?etc.

With Dan Maes' stance against the UN, this brings me more understanding of his why I really like his candacy.

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taxslave 3 years, 6 months ago

To wellwell,

I'll keep an eye on this new treaty and will post whatever I find on the details.

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taxslave 3 years, 6 months ago

It gets even worse.....check this out.....in the health care bill, a 3.8% TAX on sale of your home.....so for every 100K of sale value the feds will take $3,800.

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/27634

Who are these people you ask who will screw you at every crossroad....the Tares, that's who.

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MoCo4life 3 years, 6 months ago

I hate people who don't do their research before passing on rumor as fact. Yes, taxslave, I mean you.
As far as the health care bill taxing the sale of your home, you clearly just read a headline and not the whole story. First of all, only those with incomes over $200,000 a year ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly) will be subject to it. And even for those who have such high incomes, the tax still won’t apply to the first $250,000 on profits from the sale of a personal residence — or to the first $500,000 in the case of a married couple selling their home. It's called fact checking, and you should start.

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GreyStone 3 years, 6 months ago

MoCo4life,

Why would we bother with anything so mundane as “just the FACTS“, when plain old rumors are much more stimulating… just let your imagination take you to wherever it might go.

Sky is the limit.

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taxslave 3 years, 6 months ago

Is there or is there not a 3.8% tax on home sales in the health care bill regardless of income status that's effected?

Is there or is there not a requirement for human "chipping" of medical info in the healthcare bill?

My people perish for lack of knowledge.....Hosea.

Those are chemtrails in the air, not contrails.

There are asteroids and comets hitting the earth frequently.

There is an incoming planet...see SOHO telescope.

There will be an alien invasion from the skies (not assended masters but the fallen angels...see genesis 6 and read book of Enoch.

There will be a famine in america this winter.

Nothing but facts. Wake up. They've desensitized by the movies, music, sports, entertainment....divide & divide some more.

They're not human in the whitehouse. They are the tares.

read. steve quayle, stan deyo, the lightgate, heck even drudge is reporting some of it. Tribulation Now, Tom Horn (Apoloyon Rising)....on and on...the watchmen are blowing their trumpets.

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GreyStone 3 years, 6 months ago

What does tribulation got to do with coal? Tom Horn might not be even remotely connected with the clean coal thing in Colorado either…I seem to remember him being hung in Cheyenne, Wyoming sometime around 1901 for killing some sheepherder, However when you bring up Genesis 6, Human Chipping and the watchmen, that chinches it…we are doomed. Then there are those deceptive, spooky Chemtralia.

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GreyStone 3 years, 6 months ago

TaxSlave,

Some of your concerns about big government seem to be valid, however the religious mumbo-jumbo takes away from the credibility of the argument and borders on bizarre.

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Exres 3 years, 6 months ago

Hey, I expected to read some discussions concerning the CDP's story on coal and House Bill 10-1365 here, not some whacko prophetic theories or the latest John Birch conspiracies.

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