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The Indy’s Kelsey Ray talks coal-mine methane on KDNK

Our friend Gavin Dahl, who just took a job in the Roaring Fork Valley as news director of the community radio station KDNK, interviewed...

An open letter to readers from Indy editor Susan Greene

Dear readers, If you’ve been to the Newseum, the media museum in D.C., you may have seen this H.L. Mencken quote etched on a wall:...

Colorado’s worst methane polluter is an Arch Coal mine

Somerset, CO — If you know what to look for, you can spot the old well pads in the hills above West Elk Mine....

Judge blocks Colorado coal mine plan, orders feds to evaluate climate...

A court ruling issued in Colorado on Friday could nudge government agencies toward making more honest assessments of the climate impacts tied to the projects they approve for federal lands.

Colorado coal mine OK blasted as Obama roadless rule reversal

The United States Forest Service (USFS) Tuesday gave the green light to a 1,700-acre expansion of the West Elk coal mine 10 miles east of Paonia on Colorado’s Western Slope. West Elk owner Arch Coal, based in St. Louis, Mo., praised the decision for its job-saving potential. Environmental groups blasted the USFS ruling for its possible industrialization of the pristine Sunset Trail roadless area adjacent to the West Elk Wilderness Area.

Colorado coal increasingly headed overseas

Republican lawmakers, at least in Colorado, are fond of pointing to America’s vast domestic fossil fuel reserves as a largely untapped means of ending the nation’s dependency on overseas energy imports. But there isn’t a lot of talk these days about getting other countries hooked on our homegrown power sources. According to the second-quarter earnings report for Arch Coal, the St. Louis, Mo., company that owns Colorado’s West Elk Mine, 2011 is expected to be a banner year – based at least in part on increasing overseas exports.

Amid new Big Branch revelations, spotlight also back on Colorado coal...

New revelations this week that Massey Energy kept two sets of books at its Big Branch Mine, failing to report major safety hazards to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), have put the media spotlight back on coal mine safety around the country. Colorado coal mines have racked up millions in health and safety violation fines over the last decade, according to the MSHA.

Environmental groups petition EPA to set air-pollution limits on coals mines

A coalition of national environmental groups Wednesday petitioned U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa Jackson to begin limiting air pollution from coal mines...

Colorado coal mine rep inaccurately claims methane flaring illegal

Obviously pleased with last week’s roadless ruling allowing Oxbow Mining to vent more methane at is Elk Creek Mine near Paonia, a company spokesman over the weekend also took the opportunity to skewer environmentalists on the issue of methane capture or flaring.

Plan to open forestland for mine venting called ‘outrageous’

Even as Gov. Bill Ritter Thursday thanked U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for allowing road building around a coal mine in relatively unmolested Colorado forestland near Paonia, environmental groups and sportsmen harshly condemned the decision for exposing forest but also for flying in the face of smart business efforts to combat global warming.