Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Colo. wants exemption to roadless rule to help North Fork coal mines

The administration of Gov. John Hickenlooper is reiterating its support for a North Fork Valley coal exemption to the Colorado roadless rule as conservation groups say its costs would undo the greenhouse gas-reduction benefits of the state’s oil and gas methane regulations. Mike King, who is finishing up his tenure as executive director of the state Department of Natural Resources before he begins working for Denver Water, said Monday the administration has submitted a letter in support of the exemption, which likewise has been backed by two prior governors. “We remain steadfast in our support that the roadless areas not preclude the development” of coal in the North Fork Valley, King said in a telephone interview. The U.S. Forest Service has proposed reinstating the nearly 20,000-acre exemption to Colorado roadless-area protections after a federal judge vacated it because of the government’s failure to consider climate-change impacts...more

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