United States Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado has announced the Department of Interior has completed its draft environmental assessment required by the courts to keep the Colowyo Mine in operation.
The Colowyo mine employs 200 people in Moffat County.
Worries Coloywo would close and electricity rates rise in the Panhandle prompted U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer to join with Bennet, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado as well as Wyoming’s two U.S. Senators urging the Department of Interior to act.
The mine provides coal to the Tri-State power plant in Craig, Colorado which supplies electricity to a number of western Nebraska communities.
Tri-State provides power to the Chimney Rock Public Power District in Bayard, Midwest Cooperative Corporation in Grant, Northwest Rural Public Power District in Hay Springs, Panhandle Rural Electric Membership Association in Alliance, Roosevelt Public Power District in Scottsbluff, and Wheat Belt Public Power District in Sidney.
A court initially ruled against the Department of Interior’s plans for the Colowyo Mine.