Coal

Cody Perry

  • Two Forks Club awards funding to Marigold Livestock, Deer Tree Farm & Agroforest, Topp Fruits, Mountain Harvest Bakery
  • 350 Colorado criticizing Governor's new Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction roadmap
  • Consumer groups want Xcel Energy shareholders, not ratepayers, to take on wildfire mitigation costs
  • Lauren Boebert loses another staffer amid Capitol insurrection fallout
  • Scott Franz: Polis promises response to alleged racially disproportionate COVID vaccine distribution
  • Jodi Peterson: Why Colorado won't close 3 coal power plants early

Cody Perry

Colorado regulators proposed early closures for three coal-fired power plants to improve air quality and fight climate change. Then they reversed the decision a month later. Jodi Peterson reports on the proposal and why it was abandoned. This story was produced as part of a collaborative project reporting on the impacts of fossil fuels, coordinated by the Rocky Mountain Community Radio Coalition.

 

    

Marci Krivonen / Aspen Public Radio

  • Cedaredge trustees leaning toward cap of 2 recreational, 1 medical marijuana retailers
  • Delta County Health Department not ready to vaccinate individuals younger than 70
  • Colorado's largest union of educators calling on lawmakers to increase funding, make classrooms safer
  • KSJD's Austin Cope: As Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association shifts focus to more renewable energy, undoing years of fossil fuel influence won't be easy

  

Stephen Pribut / Wikimedia Commons

  • Historic bank building in Ridgway gutted by fire
  • Southwest Airlines now flying from Montrose to Denver, Dallas
  • Montrose green waste program suspended due to contaminated loads
  • West Elk Mine facing new fines
  • CSU research project brings 10 bison to preserve in Bent County
  • Local drug case thrown out due to illegal police search
  • Governor praises Congress for COVID relief package
  • Jodi Peterson reports on more efficient irrigation methods 

Chad Reich

Chad Reich is back on KVNF for this week's Local Motion to go deeper into the story of 'The North Fork Exception.' Mountain Coal Company wants to expand into lands on The Gunnison National Forest's roadless areas and environmental groups want to stop them. The story involves ongoing battles in the courts over roads and drilling pads. The mine hasn't responded to emails or phone calls since July so they couldn't be included in the story. Instead, Chad shares the voices of coal advocates, conservation groups, and government officials.

  

Laura Palmisano

  • Backcountry skier Jeff Schneider died in an avalanche Friday, 2 others died Saturday near Silverton
  • 2 earthquakes near Nucla
  • Delta County Hospital workers getting first local doses of COVID-19 vaccine
  • Congressman Ken Buck will not seek second term as Colorado GOP chair
  • Air Quality Control Commission reverses decision on coal-fired power plants
  • Economists say state budget outlook is improving
  • Laura Palmisano talks to Hinsdale County Commissioner Kristine Borchers about acquisition of island, peninsula on Lake San Cristobal

Chad Reich

This past June, the West Elk Mine punched a mile of road and two drilling pads for methane venting into lands that conservation groups say should be roadless, according to federal policy. Mine operators, however, say their leases for a planned and approved expansion sit underneath the surface of the roadless lands and are not subject to the state's roadless rule. Chad Reich reports on the struggle taking place in the Gunnison National Forest. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

  • Congresswoman-elect Lauren Boebert has asked to carry her gun on Capitol grounds
  • Denver buying body cameras that start recording automatically when officers draw a gun
  • Three Colorado coal plants face orders to close earlier than 2030
  • Lake City residents are raising funds to buy land on Lake San Cristobal
  • An accident in Arches National Park has led to a wrongful death claim against the Park Service
  • COGCC approves new rules intended to protect wildlife from energy development

  

Scott Franz

  • Now 15 human cases of West Nile in Delta County
  • Montrose Lighthouse looking for new location to avoid reduced shelter capacity due to COVID
  • Arch Resources looking to sell West Elk Mine in North Fork Valley, the largest coal producer in Colorado
  • Legal fate of 2020 Census count deadline still uncertain
  • Scott Franz explains the most complicated statewide ballot question, Amendment B, which would change the Gallagher amendment in Colorado

Greg Kelly's grandson, Caden, scampers to the tree-shaded creek behind his grandfather's house to catch crawdads, as Kelly shuffles along, trying to keep up. Kelly's small day pack holds an oxygen tank with a clear tube clipped to his nose. He has chairs spaced out on the short route so he can stop every few minutes, sit down and catch his breath, until he has enough wind and strength to start out again for the creek.

West Obsessed: What Trump Could Mean for the West

Nov 22, 2016

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency took a lot of people by surprise. And given the nature of the election, it's hard to tell what a Trump administration will actually look like. In this episode of West Obsessed, the writers and editors of High Country News discuss some of the ramifications of a Trump presidency, from coal and other extractives to public land management and climate change.

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, June 24, 2016

Jun 24, 2016

  • Colorado releases economic forecast
  • New Mexico sues Colorado over Animas River spill
  • Update on regional efforts to improve internet
  • Grand Junction woman arrested for sexual assault on teenage boy
  • Public comment taken over coal royalties

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, June 13, 2016

Jun 13, 2016

  • Pilot who flew into power lines gets license revoked temporarily
  • Ski resort visitations are up
  • Ouray County Road 1 might be paved if county approves
  • Republican candidates face a crowded field to take on Senator Bennet
  • Coal production down nationally to 1981 levels  

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, June 10, 2016

Jun 10, 2016

  • Estimate of natural gas on Western Slope balloons into one of the largest in nation
  • 90 Road on Uncompahgre Plateau blocked with barriers
  • Coal production down this year, continuing trend
  • Gov. Hickenlooper signs bill to investigate new reservoir  

KVNF Regional Newscast: Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Jun 7, 2016

  • Demands made for Delta GOP leader’s resignation
  • High temps melt snowpack, but enough is still there to last
  • Programs helps hungry Delta County kids
  • Coal states struggle to adapt to renewable demand  

West Elk Mine
WildEarth Guardians

The last fully operational coal mine in the western part of the state announced layoffs Thursday.

The West Elk Mine outside of Paonia is owned by Arch Coal. The company filed for bankruptcy in January and says it’s letting go of 80 workers.

All over eastern Kentucky, you see cars and pickup trucks with black license plates proclaiming the owner is a "friend of coal."

Even though the license plates are all over, it's getting harder to find actual coal miners here: Fewer than 6,000 remain in the state, where the coal industry is shrinking fast. More than 10,000 coal workers have been laid off since 2008.

Many have had to leave the area to find work, but a few have found employment in other — and sometime unexpected — fields, as businesses are innovating to use former coal workers in new ways.

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, May 6, 2016

May 6, 2016

  • CO 149 resurfacing project outside of Lake City starts
  • Colorado's Cruz-leaning GOP tries to make peace with Trump
  • Listen to U.S. coal production fall off a cliff

Demolition Marks End of Elk Creek Mine

Apr 29, 2016
KVNF / Jake Ryan

The Elk Creek Mine in Gunnison County was once one of Colorado’s most productive coal mines. Its coal silo stood tall for 50 years, but last Friday it was demolished. While just another step in the mine’s shutdown, its collapse was symbolic.


Rob Mulford, coal miner, Paonia Town Park
Laura Palmisano

Thirty-five years ago today, April 15, 1981, an explosion at the Dutch Creek No. 1 Mine outside of Redstone, Colo. killed 15 coal miners. Rob Mulford worked at the mine. He wasn't there that day, but the weight of the tragedy is still with him. Mulford now lives in Alaska, but he's back, to honor his friends and fellow miners who died. 


A coal-mining giant has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid an industrywide slump.

Peabody Energy — which is the biggest coal miner in the U.S. and says it is the largest private-sector coal company in the world — is looking to restructure its heavy debt load and gain relief from its creditors. It hopes to continue operations unimpeded.

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Apr 6, 2016

  • Oil and gas local control bill fails in state legislature
  • Oyster joins race for San Miguel County Commissioner
  • Ulibarri misses petition deadline for Montrose County Commissioner Race
  • Ridgway Fire expands rescue services 
  • Coal production down in Colorado
  • Region 10 receives $1.8M for regional broadband effort  

Coal's Share of US Energy Pie Shrinking

Mar 8, 2016
EIA

A recent federal report looks at changes in how the United States generates its electricity. It shows a significant drop in the amount of power coming from coal. 


Oregon's biggest power companies will have 14 years to wean themselves from coal, under a new bill approved by lawmakers Wednesday. The measure has the support of Gov. Kate Brown — and the state's two largest electric companies.

Several environmental groups have backed the bill, which calls for requiring large utilities to ensure that at least 50 percent of their power comes from renewable sources by 2040.

Bowie #2 Mine, Coal Mine
WildEarth Guardians

Another coal mine will shut down in Western Colorado. Bowie Resource Partners is idling the Bowie #2 Mine near Paonia.

In a release, the company cites the continued decline of the coal market as the reason for the closure.

The mine currently employs 108 people. Bowie estimates 68 full-time positions will be eliminated in April, but by July, nearly everyone will lose their job. 

KVNF Regional Newscast: Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016

Feb 23, 2016

  • Historic dairy in Montrose to close
  • Bill to aid struggling rural Colorado counties progresses at state capital 
  • 2015 Colorado coal production lowest in years
  • Capital Conversation with Bente Birkeland on TABOR

The coal industry is hurting. For decades, coal was the go-to fuel for generating electricity. Now that is changing.

The connection between coal and generating electricity goes back to the late 19th century. A good place to get a sense of that history is the small town of Sunbury, Pa. — specifically at the corner of Fourth and Market streets at the Hotel Edison.

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016

Feb 17, 2016

  • I­-70 through Glenwood Canyon to remain closed until Thursday
  • New charges against suspected Mesa County deputy killer
  • Black Hills Energy acquires SourceGas
  • Trains transporting less coal
  • New bill wants to expand access for undocumented driver's licenses  

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, Jan. 25, 2016

Jan 25, 2016

  • Colorado sees first avalanche death of the season
  • Former DeBeque town marshal under arrest again
  • San Miguel County Commissioner Art Goodtimes will not be running for re­election
  • A look at the quagmire of coal mine cleanup  

Citing concerns over pricing and pollution, the Obama administration on Friday unveiled a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. The change won't affect existing leases, which generated nearly $1.3 billion for the government last year.

The Department of the Interior says it wants to make sure the money it's charging for coal leases takes into account both market prices and what's often called the "social costs" of coal — its impact on climate change and public health.

The agency says federal lands account for roughly 40 percent of all U.S. coal production.

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