Moffat County Commissioner works to bring U.S. Senate hearing to Craig

Janelle O'Dea
Cory Gardner

— Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid managed to fly to Washington D.C. for meetings with both of Colorado’s U.S. Senators this week despite a blanket of snow over the northeastern region of the country.

The Moffat County Commission chairman met with U.S. Sen. Michael Bennett, D-Colorado and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, and proposed the idea of a field hearing in Moffat County for the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee.

Nothing is set in stone for the hearing yet, but Kinkaid said when he met with the senators and Bennett’s chief of staff Jonathan Davidson, all three seemed receptive to the idea. Kinkaid asked for the hearing sometime this year, and said that’s as specific as he can get for now.

“They are really positive about it; I was surprised at how eager they were to run with the ball on this,” Kinkaid said.

He would like for Gardner and Bennett to tour the coalmines and the power plant, “but that’s up to them, of course,” he said. Kinkaid’s dream for the meeting would be for Moffat County residents to explain their situation and ask the committee for help.

“Our county population has dropped 8 percent since 2009 and our labor participation rate dropped 4 percentage points between 2009 and 2014, and those are statistics we can share,” Kinkaid said. “But we can also share with them personal stories on how this will help and how we need help with the (Environmental Protection Agency).”

Kinkaid also would have made it to Saturday and Sunday steering committee meetings for Colorado Counties Inc., if it hadn’t been for the weather, he said.

“I couldn’t get out of Hayden on Friday, and it just kind of snowballed from there,” Kinkaid said. He experienced further delays in Atlanta but was able to get to the capitol in time for a meeting with the two senators.

Contact Janelle O’Dea at 970-875-1795 or or follow her on Twitter @jayohday.

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