Moffat County officials Beck and Kinkaid trying to take offense in ‘war on coal’

By Patrick Kelly
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Craig Daily Press

Craig Mayor Ray Beck and Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid were in Denver recently to take the offensive in what they view not only as a war on coal, but their constituents’ livelihoods.

“For lack of a better word, I’m tired of always being on the defense,” said Beck.

In Denver on Dec. 3, Beck and Kinkaid delivered that message to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 8 Administrator, Shaun McGrath. Regional Senior Policy Advisor Joan Card and Air Program Director Carl Daly were present for the discussion as well.

During general discussion at the Dec. 8 Moffat County Commissioners’ meeting, Kinkaid mentioned the gathering as a proactive measure on the part of Northwest Colorado, but he was not sure how much it accomplished.

Kinkaid said he asked the regional EPA representatives if Craig Station was likely to remain operational under the new regulations.

“They thought that the odds were very high that Craig Station is going to be a viable power plant for years to come,” he said at the commissioners’ meeting.

To put Craig on the offense, Beck said he tried to emphasize how byproducts from coal-generated electricity are used in everyday items, such as women’s cosmetics.

“What happens when coal stays in the ground and then all these byproducts have to be pulled off the shelf,” he said. “Then what? What does that conversation look like? What are you going to tell your wife when she can’t go buy makeup?”

Beck said he thinks the general public, Environmental Protection Agency and groups like WildEarth Guardians have gotten the message about the importance of coal for Northwest Colorado’s economy and it’s time to add to the story.

“It’s time to be on the offense instead of the defense all the time,” he said.

The duo also participated in an EPA comment session on the proposed implementation of the Clean Power Plan in Denver on Nov. 17, providing testimony at the state capitol.

Meanwhile, the EPA’s use of section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to create federal implementation guidelines is being challenged in federal court by 24 states, including Colorado

 

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