What could become Colorado’s first coal gasification plant is raising some questions among residents.
Kentucky-based Bowie Resource Partners has submitted a request to Colorado’s Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety to develop a plan to process coal waste using heat, pressure and chemicals to create a synthetic gas which in turn could be used to generate electricity, according to a report in the Denver Post.
The plan calls for the development of the plant in Paonia, a small community located north of Montrose and west of Crested Butte. Company officials in Paonia and Kentucky are not commenting about the request. The Paonia coal mine is the only one that Bowie Resource Partners operates in Colorado.
But residents of Paonia have questions.
“It seems like they are trying to do something under the radar with an unprecedented type of plant and we want answers,” said Natasha Lege, interim executive director for the Paonia-based Citizens for a Healthy Community. Her group pushes for environmental protections from oil and gas development in southwest Colorado.