January 21, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Stuart Sanderson
CMA COMMENTS SUPPORT COLORADO ROADLESS RULE
The Colorado Mining Association (CMA) filed comments expressing the industry’s strong support for the Colorado Roadless Rule.
CMA strongly supports the Forest Service proposal to reinstate the North Fork Coal Mining Area exception to the Colorado Roadless Rule as Alternative B: under the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Roadless Rule with the North Fork exception for limited road building and surface activity was the product of a seven-year public process involving extensive public comment and hearings throughout Colorado. Three Administrations in Colorado, including those of current and former Colorado Governors Hickenlooper, Ritter and Owens, strongly supported the rule, which balances both environmental concerns with the need for jobs and economic development in rural Colorado.
The Colorado Roadless Rule has received strong bi-partisan support. In 2005, the Colorado General Assembly enacted legislation establishing a Task Force which held hearings around state to develop the proposed rule. The final Colorado Roadless Rule approved by the Forest Service classified a total of 4.2 million acres as roadless and off limits to mineral and other development. It also gave special protection to 1.2 million acres while placing less than 20,000 acres in the North Fork Coal Mining Area exception.
“Make no mistake,” said CMA President Stuart Sanderson, “this proposed rule simply reinforces and reinstates the original Colorado Roadless Rule as approved by the Forest Service in 2012. “It does not approve a new coal mine or ancillary facilities. It allows for potential access for continued mining in areas adjacent to current operations, rather than foreclosing that option at the outset.”
As the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement clearly states, the estimated maximum possible annual GHG emissions for North Fork Coal Mining Area is approximately equivalent to 0.6% of 2013 total U.S. GHG emissions. When compared with worldwide emissions, the percentage of GHGs from this mine alone is infinitesimal. Clearly, mining over the life of this operation will have no impact on climate.
Coal mining in the North Fork accounts for 723 jobs and overall revenues of $285.5 million dollars. The industry also purchased goods and services valued at $97.7 million dollars. The destruction of these jobs and services, which anti-coal interests seek, would devastate and impoverish rural Colorado and deprive the state and the nation of a source of clean, affordable energy essential to meeting the requirements of the Clean Air Act.
CMA is an industry organization, founded in 1876, whose more than 900 members include the producers of coal and other minerals throughout Colorado and the west, as well as individuals and companies providing services and support to Colorado’s mining industry.