Federal Regulators Back Keeping Colorado Coal Mine Open

Federal regulators back keeping Colorado coal mine open

DENVER (AP) - Federal regulators have recommended that a northwestern Colorado coal mine threatened with closure partly over its impact on global warming remain open. The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation Enforcement issued its decision Tuesday, five days before a court-imposed deadline that state and local lawmakers had urged it to meet to keep the Colowyo mine operating near Craig.

The Interior Department still must decide whether to accept the recommendation to ensure its future.

The mining project was approved in 2007 but in May a federal judge ordered regulators to re-do its environmental review and take into account the impact the mined coal would have on climate change in response to a lawsuit by environmentalists. The review found that burning the coal at a nearby power plant would have "insignificant impacts" on national greenhouse gas emissions.

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