As part of a statewide energy tour, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall (center) visited the Elk Creek Mine’s methane capture project on Thursday, May 2. Earlier in the day he visited the Montrose Forest Products facility. “The Elk Creek Mine methane capture project is a great example of how Colorado businesses came together to create jobs and turn coal bed methane — which is normally seen as a waste product — into an innovative and cost-effective source of electri- city,” said Udall. The Elk Creek Mine’s methane-capture project started in 2012 after Aspen Skiing Company, Holy Cross Electric and Oxbow Mining teamed with Vessels Coal Gas to build the first coal mine methane-fueled electric generator west of the Mississippi River. The project creates enough energy to fuel Aspen Skiing Company’s four ski areas, 13 restaurants and three hotels, while reducing carbon emissions from the mine by an estimated 96,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year.