COAL PRODUCING COUNTIES TO MEET AT NACO CONFERENCE
A meeting of coal producing counties throughout the country will take place at this year’s National Association of Counties conference. The conference will be held this weekend in Washington D.C. Gordon Topham, a county commissioner from Utah, and Denny Nunnelly, Executive Director of the Kentucky Association of Counties, have set up the meeting, and are inviting officials and interested parties from any coal producing county. At the meeting, participants will hear from an expert panel about the range of issues facing coal production in the east, midwest, and west, including both economic and regulatory challenges to coal production. They’ll also hear suggestions from the panel about how county officials can effectively engage in the broader discussion about coal and coal-use. They’ll discuss strategies moving forward and begin the discussions about how county officials can be meaningfully engaged in the national debate. Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid has said he will be in Washington for the NACo conference.
AIR QUALITY RULES PUSHED THROUGH DESPITE EVIDENCE ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
Moffat County officials say hearings relate to new air quality regulations governing oil and gas operations felt eerily similar to those before the passage of Senate Bill 252 last year. Senate Bill 252 is the Rural Electric Mandate. During those hearings, the Moffat County Commissioners say they felt their testimony was completely ignored. They say during the recent hearings on air quality control, a coalition of western Colorado Counties presented evidence that pollution issues in the state were not a result of drilling on the Western Slope. The evidence showed that the product pulled out of the Western Slope is a drier fuel that leads to much less pollution than those wells on the Front Range. The evidence was gathered with state-of-the-art air monitoring equipment in Rifle over several years. However, that testimony was not considered when the decision was made. The result is that Colorado is now the only state in the nation to regulate greenhouse gasses on oil and gas operations. Governor Hickenlooper, who earlier this month said the process for passing Senate Bill 252 was flawed due to the lack of testimony, has praised the new rules.
REPUBLICANS VYING FOR SENATE SEAT BASH UDALL
Republicans competing for their party’s nomination to challenge Senator Mark Udall bashed the Democratic senator at a debate but offered few disagreements among themselves. All of the candidates last night called for repealing the Affordable Care Act, opposed same-sex marriage, argued against raising the minimum wage and don’t believe in human-caused global warming. They also agreed that Udall, a longtime Colorado congressman elected to the Senate in 2008, should go. Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck is considered the front-runner in the race. The other candidates at the debate were state Representative Amy Stephens, state Senator Owen Hill, businessmen Mark Aspiri and Floyd Trujillo, and perennial GOP candidate Tom Janich. State Senator Randy Baumgardner, the seventh candidate in the primary, did not attend. Pictured: Mark Udall
BACK COUNTRY ENTHUSIASTS REMINDED TO WATCH WILDLIFE RESPONSIBLY
Because some areas of Colorado have received significant snowfall this season, wildlife officials warn that more animals will begin traveling on groomed trails, increasing the possibility of close encounters. Parks and Wildlife officials say watching wildlife in a responsible manner can lead to an exciting and memorable experience. However, approaching, harassing or feeding wild animals, or allowing your dogs to chase them, can lead to significant, negative consequences for you, your dog and the animals. The agency issues several warnings about encounters with animals throughout the winter, as a reminder to back country enthusiasts that they are sharing the land with wildlife. They say not sharing responsibly can cause injury, death, or prosecution. You can learn more by visiting the Parks and Wildlife website.
FEDERAL FUNDING TO BOOST STATE MANUFACTURING
State officials say federal funding will boost Colorado programs to promote advanced manufacturing. The state said yesterday the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade will provide $10 million over five years for programs at the University of Colorado and the Colorado School of Mines. Federal agencies are expected to match the state contribution. The state worked with the schools to form the Digital Manufacturing and Design Institute at CU and the Lightweight Modern Metals Manufacturing Institute at Mines. The School of Mines will be part of a larger organization seeking to remove technological barriers in the manufacture of products using lightweight metals and alloys. CU will be part of a separate organization and will build on its computer science and engineering programs to develop new digital manufacturing techniques.
In 2-A District tournament action:
The Soroco boys fell to Paonia (67-59). The girls beat West Grand (80-55).
The Hayden boys lost to Rangely (37-36). The girls fell to Paonia (55-28).
The Rangely girls lost to Hotchkiss (69-34).
The Moffat County girls topped Coal Ridge (52-35). They advance in the tournament to play Grand Valley this Friday afternoon at 3. Win that game and the girls will play in the District Championship game Saturday at 4pm. If the girls lose Friday they will play for 3rd place Saturday at 12:30. All games this weekend will be at Palisade High School.
The Moffat County boys beat Cedaredge (97-49). They’ll play Grand Valley Friday night at 8:15. Win that game and the boys will play in the District Championship game Saturday at 5:45. If the boys lose Friday they will play for 3rd place Saturday at 2:15. All games this weekend will be at Palisade High School. 93.7 102.3 KRAI and KRAI.COM will carry both the Moffat County boys and girls games this Friday and Saturday.
The Steamboat girls lost to Falcon (44-42). Their season is now over.
The Steamboat boys host Sierra at 7 in 4-A playoff action.