By Sharon St Joan
On May 19, 2016, in a room in Salt Lake City’s Salt Palace, virtually every seat was taken and of the 750 people there, perhaps 650 were coal workers, bussed in early that morning by Utah’s coal companies to attend the Coal Hearing held by the Department of the Interior and the BLM. This was one of six hearings, held in six cities, all part of the Department of the Interior’s Review of the Federal Coal Program.
On the way to the room, navigating the long, maze-like corridors of the Salt Palace, we had passed men handing out bright yellow t-shirts, with the word “Coal” emblazoned on the front in large letters. Now, there was a sea of rows of yellow shirts at the meeting. Understandably, like most people everywhere, people in the coal industry value their jobs.
It is commonly believed by us, a naïve…
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