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Letter to the Editor: Concern about panel



In small communities like those in Carbon and Emery counties, we have our share of rumors that circulate. Although a lot of the time these rumors turn out to be false, sometimes they do prove true. Therefore, it is with a worried mind that I write this letter.

Since the tragic events occured at the Crandall Canyon Mine on Aug. 6, fear turned into hope. Hope turned into sadness. Sadness turned into anger. And now here we stand with mixed emotions as we watch these tragic events continue to unfold with many different twists and turns along the way.

In the course of the last three weeks, we have witnessed many lives of community members change dramatically. Families have lost loved ones while others were injured and suffered mental scars that will last a lifetime. As a community, Carbon and Emery counties grieve together for everyone whose lives have been affected by these events. On the other hand, these communities also wait in fear as to what may happen next.

Rumors continue to spread like wildfire regarding mine safety, protocal and closures. As a wife of a coal miner at a Robert Murray owned mine, I sit and wait anxiously to find out if rumors mine closures are true. But in an attempt to speak for those in similar situations, I ask that we stand stronger than ever as a community to make sure that jobs are not lost.

It seems as if fights have ensued between mine authorities and government officials over the tragic events that happened in Huntington. I hope that level minds prevail and politics and personal agendas are put aside and the livlihood of our local communities come to the forefront.

Although mines are monitored on a regular basis for safety and protocal, it worries me that unexperienced and unknowledgeable parties will enter our local mines and determine that they should not continue to run. Just because a person is selected to a panel does not necessarily mean that they are informed properly of conditions in which they are monitoring. That is why I question the team that Governor Jon Huntsman is sending to inspect our UtahAmerican Energy Mines. I hope that my nervousness is put to ease as inspections are performed, but I do worry about the future of our family and others in the Castle Valley area.

Prior to three weeks ago, it seemed as if Carbon and Emery counties did not exist. It is unfortunate that such tragic events had to occur for us to be placed on the map of Utah. For decades we have known the dangers and risks of coal mines. But suddenly the world thinks that it is an unsafe profession. That's because you never hear about the industry until something tragic unfolds.

I just hope that the rest of the nation keeps an open mind on what is going on in our local mines. It is time that the rest of the world realize what we have always known. Coal mining is not a profession, it is a way of life and one that so many families in our area rely on. Please don't come and invade our space. We have taken care of ourselves for quite a long time and will continue to do so with or without outside help.

May God bless all mining families and keep Carbon and Emery counties strong and safe.

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