Shutting Down Craig Colorado

Russ Steele

My Senior Year in High School I boarded with George and Hazel La Munion. My two brothers and I lived in the bedrooms their own sons had used, growing up in Salmon Idaho. Around the breakfast and dinner table George had some great stories to share us about his days as a freight wagon drive in Colorado. He hauled coal from near Craig to Steam Boat Springs.

On our trip east last year we went via old Highway 40 which passes through Craig, Colorado. We stayed over night in an RV Park on the edge of town. it was a really great place to visit, though we found Steam Boat Springs a more exciting shopping experience.

Now, we learn that the EPA is going to shut down Craig’s coal fired power plant which has been providing power to the community for over 50 years.  In 2002 the current plant owners started a $121 million, multi-year retro fit to Units one and two at the plant.  The upgrades were prompted by a settlement agreement reached between the Sierra Club and the five owner utilities of the Yampa Project.

Now we learn that Obama and his environmental henchmen are trying to close down the Craig power plant.

“President Obama promised to bankrupt coal-powered electricity in the United States, and this latest rule — when combined with the administration’s new rules for mercury emissions and cross-state pollution — makes good on that promise. Already, towns like Craig, Colo., whose economies rely on coal-fired electricity generation, are struggling under the burden of Obama regulations.

“Because the administration couldn’t shut down towns like Craig through cap-and-trade laws, the President has determined to impose his agenda through the EPA. This development is not surprising, given the president’s assurance that cap-and-trade was ‘just one way of skinning the cat.’

We met a lot of very nice people in Craig. According to our conversations with locals, the community was struggling economically. They were hoping for some increased tourist traffic in the coming summer.  Losing their power plant could be a major economic challenge to the village of Craig Colorado.  I wonder if the folks at the EPA ever think about the economic pain they are causing the very nice people of Craig, Colorado.



About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

7 Responses to Shutting Down Craig Colorado

  1. D. King says:

    “I wonder if the folks at the EPA ever think about the economic pain they are causing the very nice people of Craig, Colorado.”

    The answer is no, they are sociopaths

    But it’s not just our people.

    Here’s the story.

  2. stevefrisch says:

    I think the folks at EPA think about a 50 year old coal fired power plant like the one in Craig every day when they make sure their kid has their inhaler when they go to school.

    Here is the annual emission data from the Craig, CO

    2006 CO2 Emissions: 11,322,685 tons
    2006 SO2 Emissions: 3,586 tons
    2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
    2006 NOx Emissions: 17,081 tons
    2005 Mercury Emissions: 130 lb. (1/3 of all power plant Mercury emissions in the state)

    But why would Russ post this? Nostalgia? Or is it because the cause of Craig Co has become the cause celebre of the American Energy Alliance (AEA)?

    The AEA is an advocacy non-profit organization that is funded by membership contributions in its effort to oppose new emission standards for coal fired power plants? (in other words 90% of its activity as a non-profit is the very sort of public advocacy that Russ has critiqued other local non-profits for using less than 1% of their funding on)

    And of course the cause of Craig Co has become a poster child for the radical right wing anti-health group Americans for Prosperity, the Koch funded non-profit.

    But yeah, sure I believe it Russ, it is all about nostalgia. Nostalgia for the glorious past of spewing crap into the air for profit because you are too set in your ways to change.

    • D. King says:

      “I think the folks at EPA think about a 50 year old coal fired power plant like the one in Craig every day when they make sure their kid has their inhaler when they go to school. ”

      What a sap!

      Here is the EPA’s ban on inhalers. From $5.00 to $50.00

      Started under Clinton; implemented under Obama.

      Good job!

  3. B White says:

    Things to watch for when you suspect an attempt to mislead or divert for personal satisfaction or exoneration.

    Partial or limited hand-picked time periods of historical data.

    Initiation of discussion pertaining to issues, individuals or organizations not related to the impetus of the original postulate.

    Assertion of unsubstantiated empirical comparisons.

    Demonization of individualized or organizational personal threat.

    Steve, you continue to disgrace yourself with your amateurism.

  4. Dixon Cruickshank says:

    Steve you didn’t include how many inhalers are needed in Craig – my guess would be few.

    I also will presume that the 121M was to go to keeping it open and not be totally wasted by I also presume spread over not many residents.

    ENGO’s and the EPA ( one in the same ) are kinda like trying to appease Hitler, didn’t work for Poland or Britain and hasn’t worked so far for the USA in the last 40 yrs – its always another 121M then more more more, then the end. Actually I think this is a good analogy – just say’in

  5. Dixon Cruickshank says:

    BTW – they settled with Sierra, there is always another splinter group waiting to ponce as history as shown – as all the legal costs are paid by the US Treasury for them, not the utility – talk about the ultimate gravy train and nobody brings it up?

  6. Dixon Cruickshank says:

    pounce – sorry

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