To the editor:
I want to personally thank the communities of Northwest Colorado and elected officials across the state for their strong show of support of Colowyo Mine’s continued operations. We couldn’t ask for better employees, friends and neighbors.
After a thorough environmental review process, we received approval of a new mining plan from the federal government in January. The plan helps ensure the mine will continue to support the economy and be a strong source of jobs for years to come.
Many of you participated in the environmental review process by talking to your elected officials, writing letters, attending meetings and supporting our employees. Your actions were instrumental to the successful outcome of the mine plan application, and your support of Colowyo and Tri-State over the years is invaluable. I’m always impressed by the progress that can be made when communities come together to work toward a shared goal.
I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement staff in Denver and Bureau of Land Management staff in the Golden and Craig offices. Several state agencies also deserve recognition for their involvement in the environmental assessment process, including Colorado Parks and Wildlife; the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety; and the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division. Working cooperatively, these federal and state agencies played an important role in completing the extensive environmental assessment process.
Our mission is to generate and deliver power to our members in an affordable, reliable and responsible manner. Of course, as we work toward this goal we are sometimes faced with challenges affecting our industry and with tough decisions to make. The planned closing of Craig Station Unit 1 was one of those tough decisions, but we believe the long lead time before the unit’s retirement will give our employees and the community the necessary time to plan, adjust and continue moving forward. We are humbled by the community's support and understanding as we work through these changes.
The role coal plays in the local economy is not lost on you, as you understand the importance of the energy industry and all the ways it impacts the communities of Northwest Colorado. As you know, Colowyo Mine is a significant source of economic stability for the entire region, and in addition to well-paying jobs, provides millions of dollars in federal, state, local and severance taxes which support local and regional schools, roads and infrastructure.
Thank you for your resolve and support of this vital industry. We look forward to many more years of being part of the Craig community.
CEO, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association