Two Colorado coal plants and one mine will be shut down as part of an effort by federal and state regulators and environmentalists to improve visibility at national parks and other areas of the state.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, a rural cooperative utility, will shutter its 100 megawatt Nucla Station coal plant and the coal mine that feeds it by 2022 as part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators and the environmental group WildEarth Guardians.
Tri-State will also shutter a 427-megawatt unit at the Craig Station coal plant. Tri-State determined it would be more cost-effective to shutter the coal plants than retrofit them with costly emissions control equipment.
But in doing so, environmental crusaders have crushed a major source of employment for small towns in rural Colorado, sparking concerns they could be on the edge of regional economic depression.
Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid is worried about the economic future of his hometown.
“The decision to decommission Unit 1 at Craig Station hurts us and I’m still very angry about it,” Kinkaid told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“We can’t afford any more of this insanity,” he said.