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.
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.