Not everybody is happy about to Colorado Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act, which “requires Xcel to cut nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 80 percent from several Front Range coal plants by the end of 2017, most likely sooner.”
GRAND JUNCTION — Legislation aimed at cleaning up Denvers air and turning Colorado into a model state for clean energy and jobs is feared as a job killer for the Western Slope’s coal country.
Sign-waving coal miners stole the show from the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Monday night as they rallied outside the old Mesa County Courthouse. They gathered before the commissions first hearing on Xcel Energys plan to close or retrofit some of its Front Range coal-fired plants. The changes are being made to comply with the Colorado Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act.
Of course, the Western Slope natural gas folks are excited about it.
That frog was right — it’s not easy bein’ green. Boulder knows it and, apparently, so does the BBC, which did a story on Boulder’s efforts to reduce its pollution and poor energy habits — and while it’s very short, it’s not very flattering.
But for all the solar panels arrayed on the roof of the municipal building on the corner of Broadway and Canyon, the roar of traffic tells a different story.
The people of Boulder are just as wedded to their cars as they are anywhere else in America.
Read the rest at the BBC’s site.
If I had the time, I’d make a remix of this wonderful video with some footage of solar arrays and other neat energy innovations in brewing on the front end — and leave the rest intact until the very final “thanks to coal” bit.
We’ve definitely come a long way from loads purely coal fueled breweries to trends toward wind and solar powered sustainable, green breweries. Brooklyn Brewery was early in the trend in 2003 when they converted to 100% wind powered energy.
Of course as we’ve posted here before, New Belgium Brewery’s 870-panel solar array is nothing to sneeze at, with Odell Brewing Company not far behind getting 39 percent of energy needs covered by their solar array.
And there are other cool energy-saving marvels, too — different varieties of heat recapturing are used at New Belgium, famously at Sierra Nevada in California, and Canada’s Steam Whistle Brewing might have one of the more unique green strategies–using a deep lake water cooling refrigeration system.
As long as you’re asking, you’ll also get people reminding you that consuming locally-brewed beer (as with consuming locally-produced anything) uses less energy, so the craft brew boom of the last decade and a half, along with changes in packaging and shipping (how heavy did those crates of bottles look in the video?) have cut down on the total energy needed.
–Dave Burdick and Lindsay Gulisano
The battle over keeping certain forested areas roadless rages on.
From the Post:
The 353 miners employed in Oxbow Mining’s Elk Creek mine, and 700 at neighboring coal mines, could become collateral damage in the debate in Denver and Washington, D.C., over how to manage 58.4 million acres of national forest land. The land was designated for protection as “roadless” in 2001, when President Bill Clinton ordered a moratorium on new road-building in an effort to keep the last wild forests pristine.
Ritter is considering whether to forward to the federal government an alternative state plan for the 4.1 million national forest acres in Colorado — a plan that would make an exception for coal mining and for ski areas and towns threatened by wildfire that want to remove beetle-killed trees.
Heck of an exception. Read more
Greenies are fighting a proposed expansion of coal mines in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, which would feed new coal-burning power plants like the one planned by Xcel Energy outside of Pueblo.
This out today from the Associated Press:
Environmentalists are urging people to oppose the proposed expansion of Wyoming coal mines. They say the mines are the primary source of large amounts of greenhouse gas.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management estimates that nearly 14 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions originates from coal mined from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.
Wyoming produces more coal than any other state by far. Most is burned in power plants and scientists say such plants contribute to climate change by releasing carbon dioxide.
Xcel Energy is planning to crank up a new coal-burning generator at its Comanche power plant outside of Pueblo. The new unit — which is four times the size of Boulder’s Valmont coal plant — will burn about 2 million tons of Powder River coal every year.
Boulder’s Leslie Glustrom, founder of Clean Energy Action, has been fighting the Comanche expansion tooth and nail. Check out the fact sheet she made up on the new coal-burning unit at CleanEnergyAction.org.
BOULDER, Colo. — In January 1923, when Western Light and Power company announced plans to spend $4 million to build a coal-burning power plant on the shores of what was then Weisenhorn Lake east of Boulder, locals were delighted.
The Daily Camera called the decision to construct the Valmont power plant “the greatest thing for Boulder that has happened in years,” as it would bring good jobs and ensure that the town would not be overlooked as Colorado continued to grow.
Today the brick walls of the 85-year-old building are covered with creeping ivy, tall trees quietly line the power station’s drive — and Boulder residents are decidedly less delighted about having a coal plant in their back yard. Read more