|The Lifetime Industry Acheivement Award was given to the Palacios family. Included here are Joseph, John, Manuel, Pete and Robert along with grandson, Marcus.|
The energy industry may be big on money and big on exploration, but they are also big on family as well.
On Thursday night, at the annual Southeastern Utah Energy Producers Association dinner the group gave it's highest honor to an entire family of coal miners; the Palacios family of East Carbon.
With over 200 years of mining experience between them, Joseph, John (many people call him "Smoke"), Manuel, Pete and Robert stood on the stage and accepted the association's Lifetime Industry Achievement Award.
"They are a great family," said Western Energy Training Center industry coordinator Sam Quigley who introduced them to the crowd of about 200 people on hand. "They are the kind of family that has made the energy industry work."
The five brothers were also joined by a son, Gregg, who has also been in the mining business.
The second recipient of the same award was Mike Dmitrich, known to most in the area as a state senator, but who is also a stalwart in the energy industry. He was introduced by his cousin and Carbon County Commissioner, Mike Milovich.
All received a crafted award made by the Prazen Studios in Carbonville. The statuettes were created by Gary Prazen and Danny Blanton.
The event was also supposed to feature addresses by Congressman Jim Matheson and WETC director Steven Burge. However, Matheson got hung up in Washington D.C. on some important legislation and Burge had a death in the family so neither could be there.
However, Utah Mining Association President David Litvin did address the crowd and reminded people how important the energy industry is to our way of life.
"As far as I am concerned there is no reason every permit for every mining or drilling operations should not be approved," he told the audience. "There are challenges to the way we do business, but in actuality, we are the ones that protect the environment with our clean and sound operations."
The evening was also a time to remember the nine miners that lost their lives in the Crandall Canyon Mine this past summer as well. At the beginning of the evening a slide show of the miners with their names emblazoned across the screens were shown in remembrance. The crowd also took a minute of silence for the miners and their families.