Report: 450 Businesses Drop Support Of WildEarth Guardians Over Mining Controversy

The Washington Times is reporting that 450 businesses, including Colorado brewer New Belgium, have requested environmental nonprofit WildEarth Guardians remove their name from a web page of supporters.

That leaves 150 companies listed as "Business for Guardians" according to the Craig Daily Press.

WildEarth Guardians has angered many in Craig for a lawsuit aimed at the local Colowyo mine. The legal action spurred a federal judge to request a redo of a 2007 expansion permit for the mine.

Two weeks ago, Stockmen's Liquor in Craig made headlines whe it removed 12 beer brands--including New Belgium and Breckenridge --after realizing the brewers were listed on WildEarth Guardian's website as supporters.

Jeremy Nichols, director of climate and energy programs for WildEarth, says the tactic of pulling the beer from the shelves had the effect of misrepresenting the brewers as being against coal miners.

“If people want to pressure these breweries to distance themselves from effective environmental advocacy groups like WildEarth Guardians, that’s a fair tactic," he told the Washington Times. "But it’s not something we’re going to sweat or let distract us from our efforts to safeguard the environment and help move our nation toward cleaner energy.”

New Belgium released a statement reported by the Times that said, in part:

“In this case, our funding dollars were allocated for healthy watershed projects only, and no money was given to overturn mining operations,” the statement said. “Additionally, we have never granted operational funds to Wild Earth Guardians, and we have no future funding plans at this time.”