BoCC cool on climate order

By Hank Lohmeyer


The Board of County Commissioners has gone on record stating opposition to an executive order being drafted by Gov. John Hickenlooper aimed at reducing climate change.

The order would impose a 35 percent reduction in greenhouse emissions from electricity generating plants by the year 2030. If ultimately approved in current draft form, the order would also impose interim reductions on carbon dioxide emissions of 25 percent over the next nine years, according to media reports.

Commissioners see the proposed executive order as another blow to the local energy and coal economy. "Delta County has seen the loss of over 1,000 jobs in the coal mining industry over the last three years," the letter states, adding, "Market conditions have contributed to the significant decline in the industry, but so has the rush to blame the coal industry for climate change."

Commissioners also note that the proposed executive order "will reduce coal use in Colorado's power generation facilities, create additional job loss in rural Colorado and further impact Delta County."

Immediate negative effects would be felt from issuance of the executive order because "the timing of the executive order makes it difficult for our remaining coal mines to secure additional contracts."

The BoCC's letter urges that the governor's office "stand with our energy sector and not move forward with the executive order."

In other business at its first meeting in September, the Board of County Commissioners dealt with the following matters:

• The commissioners reviewed official letters of interest from three individuals wanting to be named county coroner and fill out the term of Kevin Lucy who resigned from the post as of Sept. 2. Commissioners intended to schedule interviews as soon as possible. Former coroner Chalmer Swain is serving as interim coroner until a replacement for Lucy is named.

• The commissioners approved application for a $71,375 DOLA grant to pay half the cost of a consultant and other costs to rewrite the county Master Plan. The county will provide $41,375 in-kind and $30,000 cash to the project on a 50/50 match deal.