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Twentymile Coal Mine was the largest coal producer in Colorado last year, seen here from an aerial view Thursday. The mine features a long wall that is 1,000 feet wide, more than two miles long, and can produce up to 1,400 tons of coal in a single shift.

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‘The life blood’

Relationship between Moffat County and the coal industry runs deep

Retired coal miner and Craig resident Don Laib spent 29 years working for Trapper Mining Co. in Craig. He takes pride in that fact. “I look up at the mine and I realize where I used to work,” he said. “It’s 20 below zero and it’s snowing and it’s cold. I see that, and I think about the guys that are up there working. “I care about them. I care about their safety.”

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