(Gillette, Wyo.) Stacey Moeller had seen the toll being taken on her co-workers and friends, and she'd had enough. The mine worker of over 30 years took to Facebook this weekend to write a thousand-word essay
on her personal page, to address what was going on around her. She talked
about the fears and concerns of our changing coal community. Since it was
written, it has drawn thousands of shares, likes, and comments.
"I don't know of one single miner that would forgo responsible stewardship
of our lands, our environment and our planet for a paycheck," she writes.
"I have, like many others, went to work day after day without thinking it
could go away or how we could fight it when it was taken from us. I care
less about the huge and often greedy companies that operate these mines,
but care deeply for those who mine the coal and my community that it
County 17 talked to Moeller, who is calling for residents across Campbell
County and Wyoming to start a letter-writing campaign. The shockwaves from
the impact on the coal industry will have far-reaching implications, which
she wants government representatives to understand.
"We have a present need right now," she said. "This is as far-reaching as
Spearfish and Custer and Newcastle. I don't believe they understand what an
effect this will have across the state, and across the country."
Moeller, who has worked for four different mines and three different energy
companies, is surprised by the response from her initial comments on
Sunday. Now she's hoping to organize a meeting between residents, local
officials, and business leaders to discuss the future of Gillette and
"This just all blew up so much. I understand it really struck a chord," she
admits. "I'm on my days off schedule right now, so I'm going to talk to
Mayor Carter-King to see if she has any ideas."
Today's layoffs are devastating to everyone. How a community-wide meeting
could improve that situation is unclear, but Moeller doesn't think it will
hurt to talk about what this means for the job market, the housing market,
and the local economy beyond coal.
"This is just not acceptable to me. I know these people, and the kinds of
people they are. These are hard-working, solid employable people, They seem
as shell-shocked as the rest of us. It's so unsettling."
County 17 will bring you the details of an event if and when it happens.
Moeller is hoping the mayor and county representatives will be willing to
help get something organized quickly.
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