Coal Mining

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency made a mistake when it told electric power plants to reduce mercury emissions. The high court says the EPA should first have considered how much it would cost power plants to do that.

The decision comes too late for most power companies, but it could affect future EPA regulations.

Mercury in the air is a health risk. When you burn coal or oil, you create airborne mercury that can end up in fish we eat and cause serious health problems.

Coal
NPS

A District Court Judge revoked a lease expansion granted to Arch Coal in 2012.  

Pam Morris via Flickr creative commons

Coal miners and their families filled the gym at the Paonia branch of the Delta Montrose Technical College on Saturday. Many of them were among the 300 people laid off by Oxbow’s Elk Creek Mine in Somerset last month. They were there to hear state Senator Gail Schwartz and others talk about how the state could help them deal with the job losses. Some ideas included rural economic development grants and financial aid for miners to go back to school. But many people left the meeting feeling just as lost as before. 

Headlines

  • CPW Researchers Conducting Backcountry Flyovers
  • Some Miners Near Ouray Helping with Accident Investigation
  • Future of Coal Uncertain as Tennessee Valley Authority Cuts Production
  • Three Colorado Cities Facing Lawsuits Over Fracking Bans
  • Historic Schoolhouse Spurred Modern Women's Club
KVNF File Photo

It’s been a rough season for the coal mines of the North Fork Valley. Last week, Oxbow’s Elk Creek Mine in Somerset laid off another 115 workers, bringing the total number of jobs cut at that mine this fall to over 250.

Ali Lightfoot/KVNF

For the past few months, KVNF’s Programming Director Ali Lightfoot has been helping local kids produce radio stories as a part of our youth reporting project, Pass the Mic.

The project is now in its second year and is a collaboration of KVNF and the North Fork Heart and Soul Project. The stories these kids produce tackle a number of contentious issues, one of them being the energy industry. 

Headlines

  • More Layoffs as Coal Mine All But Shuttered
  • KVNF Youth Reporters Tackle Energy Issues
  • Ali Lightfoot on the Pass the Mic Project
  • December Storm Could be Clue to Rest of Winter Weather
  • Despite Early Snowfall, Much of State Still in Drought

More Layoffs As Coal Mine All But Shuttered

Dec 3, 2013
Elise Thatcher/Aspen Public Radio

More coal miners in the North Fork Valley are being laid off. Oxbow Mining company, owned by billionaire Bill Koch, laid off more than a hundred more employees on Monday at its Elk Creek mine.

Major Layoffs at Oxbow Coal Mine

Oct 16, 2013
Elise Thatcher/Aspen Public Radio

Two weeks ago, the coal mine near Paonia owned by billionaire Bill Koch laid off more than half of its employees. The Koch owned Oxbow Mining company hopes to expand operations again in the future and rehire some of the workers.  In the meantime the layoffs are creating hardships for a number of communities.

“It’s very sad time around the mine, you know to lose your income and lose your job is real traumatic, so it’s very painful decision for us," says Mike Ludlow, the Executive Vice President of Oxbow’s mining operations.

Headlines:

  • Finance Reports Released in Colorado Recall Elections
  • Colorado Recall Elections Draw National Attention
  • Members of Fix the Debt Colorado Offer Solutions for Fixing National Debt
  • Proposed Bill Would Ensure States Receive Mineral Royalties This Year
  • Un-named entity abandons plans for coal mine near Redstone
  • State fair brings rural and urban together

Headlines:

  • Hallmark Channel TV Series Won’t Be Filmed in Telluride After All
  • Doug Lamborn Aims to Lift Regulations on Coal Mining Near Streams
  • iSeeChange Report – Drought and the Future of Western Forests
  • Supporters of School Funding Increase Gather Double the Required Signatures for November Vote
  • Delta County Conservation Budget Looks Good in Audit

Headlines:

  • State Announces Child Welfare Reforms
  • Another Skier Death At Aspen
  • State Snowpack Less Than Last Year
  • People Respond To BLM Deferral of NF Gas Leases
  • Oxbow's Elk Creek Mine To Re-open
  • Grant Will Improve Paonia River Park

Headlines:

  • Governor To Expand Medicaid Coverage
  • North Fork Earthquake May Be Mining Related
  • Ouray's Wright Opera House Gets New Owners, Director and Soon, New Roof
  • Funding Will Help Restore Endangered Colorado Fish
  • Western Slope Skies

Headlines:

  • Cell Phone Helps In Snowmobilers Rescue
  • Capitol Conversation: Legislative Preview
  • Groups May Challenge West Elk Coal Expansion
  • Cannabis Clubs Lighting Up

Headlines:

  • West Elk Mine Expansion Approved By BLM
  • Curbing Gun Violence, A Discussion
  • Record Gun Sales In Colorado Overwhelms Background Checks
  • Hotel Jerome Gets Facelift

Headlines:

  • State Budget Looking Up
  • Two Locals Appointed To Coal Mine Board of Examiners
  • Legislator Aims To Remove Guns From College Campuses
  • Juvenile Charged With Arson In Weber Fire
  • Watch Report On Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel Counties
  • KVNF Sports Report
  • Colorado Spruce Heads to US Capitol For Christmas
  • Daylight Saving Time Ends This Weekend

Ali Lightfoot

This election season, some political opinions are being boldly expressed around the North Fork Valley. Yard signs read: “STOP THE WAR ON COAL—FIRE OBAMA.” Area coal miners demonstrated the same message on a rainy afternoon a few weeks ago. KVNF’s Ariana Brocious took a look at the economic realities behind the “war on coal” rhetoric.