U.S. Moratorium on New Coal Leases Draws Critics and Advocates FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Dennis Webb for the Grand Junction (Colo.) Daily Sentinel:Pro-coal advocates are working to turn out in force Thursday when the Bureau of Land Management holds a meeting in Grand Junction to gather input on possible reforms to the federal coal program.The meeting is one of six being held around the country, and supporters from Colorado and beyond are expected to show up to speak on the industry’s behalf as it struggles locally and nationally with mine layoffs and shutdowns, bankruptcies and other setbacks.Advocates for reforming the federal coal program or even ending coal mining altogether also will be attending, although one of them, Jeremy Nichols of WildEarth Guardians, said probably not in the same numbers as the industry supporters. He’s sympathetic with their desire to rally on the industry’s behalf.“The coal industry should be proud of what it’s done for this state. Nobody’s saying that we should not acknowledge the great stuff that they’ve brought over the years, but it’s time to move on,” from coal mining, he said.Nichols plans to reiterate his group’s call to leave coal in the ground due to its air-pollution and climate-change impacts, but also for the federal government to step up efforts to help coal miners and communities shift away from coal economically.“We can get behind good policies that acknowledge the need to give communities in Delta County and Craig tools to transition,” he said.The future of Peabody Energy’s Twentymile Mine between Craig and Steamboat Springs is currently up in the air following Peabody’s decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization and the failure of Bowie Resource Partners to be able to complete a deal to buy the mine.Meanwhile, in the North Fork Valley, Oxbow Mining has permanently closed its Elk Creek Mine, Bowie has idled its Bowie No. 2 Mine, and Arch Coal, which also is in bankruptcy reorganization, recently laid off 80 miners. Combined, the valley has seen the loss of many hundreds of mining jobs in recent years.Coal companies have faced slowdowns in national and international markets, in part due to increased competition from natural gas as a power-plant fuel source and also due to increased regulations aimed at reducing air pollutants and carbon emissions.Nichols said it’s also important for the Interior Department to get on board when it comes to helping coal communities transition to more diverse economies.“If they don’t, it’s just going to lead to I think more disaster for communities in the West,” Nichols said.Full article: Coal advocates look to unite at meeting
As state and local politicians run for office, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) hopes the campaign trail doesn’t run commuters off the road.INDOT reportedly received numerous complaints from residents regarding political campaign signage along state highways in the southeast portion of the state. Indiana law prohibits campaign signs from federal and state highway right-of-way.State highway crews have been removing campaign signs and other illegal postings from right-of-ways during normal maintenance activities.Individual signs that are too close to the road or could cause obstruction to a driver are specifically targeted.According to INDOT, The right-of-way areas which must remain “sign-free” include:All interstates and their interchanges; andAll intersections where at least one local, state or federal road intersects with a state or federal highway; andAll rights-of-way paralleling federal or state highways;Where right-of-way is not clearly marked, it may be estimated as the back of the ditch, to the fence line or up to utility poles.Removed signs are taken to the nearest INDOT subdistrict office where they can be re-claimed by their owners between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.Aurora Subdistrict—8074 U.S. 50 at Aurora, Ind., 812-926-0376Bloomington Subdistrict—2965 Prow Road at Bloomington, Ind., 812-332-1411Columbus Subdistrict—3545 Two Mile Road at Columbus, Ind., 812-372-7837Falls City Subdistrict—5701 U.S. Highway 31 at Clarksville, Ind., 812-282-7493Madison Subdistrict—1875 W. JPG Woodfill Road at Madison, Ind., 812-574-4368The INDOT Seymour District Customer Service Desk can be called at 877-305-7611.