As supporting members of the Coalition for Affordable Energy, we would like to thank everyone involved who testified before the Environmental Protection Agency in Denver on Wednesday as well as everyone involved in setting up, promoting, attending and speaking at the rally.
It was an honor to be associated with such a dedicated and determined group of people who were willing to stand up and make their voices heard. You were heard in Denver, and you did make a difference!
As with all endeavors, there are public heroes and unsung heroes. We would like to thank all these people.
Thank you to Sean Paige, with Americans for Prosperity-Colorado, and Amy Oliver, with the Independence Institute. With their assistance and that of Dianna Orf, Friends of Coal West, and Stuart Sanderson, president of the Colorado Mining Association, all of their hard work and pre-planning for this event resulted in a flawless and successful grass-roots campaign for affordable energy and coal here in Colorado. Also, a big thank you to Jerry Nettleton, of Peabody Energy, for making transportation available to all those that needed it to get to Denver for the rally.
Craig and Moffat County were well representated by local coal miners, concerned citizens, business people and elected officials. A special thank you to John Kinkaid and Ray Beck for their involvement and assistance with the planning as well as public speaking at the Capitol and testimony before the EPA, and to Chuck Grobe and Tom Mathers for their testimony before the EPA commission.
In the unsung hero category, there are many people to thank locally. We would like to thank Shirley Balleck, with the Flower Mine, for her personal and passionate commitment to this community, and to our sustainable future with clean coal. Shirley passed out numerous petitions signed by 450 local citizens that later were entered into the EPA’s testimony website. Shirley stood up and testified before the EPA commission. Shirley even made yard signs and T-shirts for the local residents of Craig to display proudly across town.
Another thank you goes to Chris Nichols, who stepped in to help by donating and hosting a free pancake breakfast Wednesday morning to all the early birds making the trip to Denver. Chris and his crew sent us all off well nourished.
Thank you also goes to the owners of the Pack-Ship Center, Dale and Kaley O’Mailia, for sending off the giant cards to the EPA offices in Denver that also were entered into testimony and signed by countless Moffat County citizens.
A special thank you goes to Frank Hanel, of KRAI Radio, and Noelle Leavitt Riley, of the Craig Daily Press, as well as reporter Erin Fenner who braved the early hour to ride on the bus with the group, for all their efforts in covering this story and helping our voices be heard in fighting for our economic survival.
We also would like to give a very special thanks to our assistant manager Lori Hefton, who spent countless hours helping us create the Facebook page “Craig and Moffat County Lives on Coal,” which received more than 7,000 impressions and garnered more than 749 likes, as well as 284 online petitions that went to the EPA. Lori also transferred all the paper petition names collected over to the EPA computer site and sent out more than 3,000 emails across town, notifying our local community and service groups of the EPA hearing, and asking for their support.
Although this is a long thank you letter to write, it indeed is an honor because there were so many local citizens from our area involved in this cause. It will take all of us, working together, to get our voices heard not only on the Front Range but even in Washington, D.C. Together, with strength in numbers, we as a community can and will make a difference in our economic survival and have a sustainable future in our energy industries.
Frank and Kerry Moe