Moffat County Commissioners Say Hickenlooper is in Their Corner

JOHN-HICKENLOOPER-300The Moffat County Commissioners say they are confident Colorado’s governor will stick up for them when it comes to both Sage Grouse issues, and the federal ruling on ColoWyo Mine’s expansion. Commissioner Chuck Grobe yesterday said their meeting with Governor Hickenlooper on Tuesday went well.  The governor told the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado that he and John Swartout, the state’s point man on sage grouse, are demanding science from the BLM that supports their proposal to keep the sage grouse from being added to the Endangered Species List. The proposal would make 95% of land in Moffat County ineligible for activities such as subdividing, homebuilding, off road vehicle activity and oil and gas exploration.
Grobe also addressed the ColoWyo Mine lawsuit with Governor Hickenlooper. Hickenlooper says he and others are talking strategy on getting the ruling nullified. However, he isn’t saying yet what that strategy is. A federal judge ruled against ColoWyo in a lawsuit filed by WildEarth Guardians, that claimed the permits for the mines most recent expansion were issued without proper public input. Specifically they said the mine did not properly consider environmental impacts of the expansion. The judge gave the mine 120 days to fix the problem, but if that target is not met, mining operations will come to a halt. That could mean a loss of up to 220 jobs and $274 million in regional economic benefits. Hickenlooper says he will fight the judge’s ruling. Representative Scott Tipton issued a statement yesterday that says he will also stand with Moffat County.

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