Letter to the Editor: Our community needs help

Editor: Enclosed you will find a letter I recently sent to Wyoming’s U.S. Senator, John Barrasso. I would encourage everyone who is concerned about these issues to call our two Senators, Mike Enzi and John Barrasso; and also our U.S. House Representative, Liz Cheney, and voice your concerns. Ask if anyone is working on a plan to help our small community. They aren’t getting much done in Washington; maybe a little reality check will help them “re-focus,” right?

Legislators’ phone numbers:

Mike Enzi: 202-224-3424

John Barrasso: 202-224-6441

Liz Cheney: 202-225-2311

Senator Barrasso:

Since you assured me that you’re closely watching the situation, I’m sure you’re aware that the Texas bankruptcy judge ruled in favor of Westmoreland and against the coal miners of Wyo. and North Dakota.

A friend suggested I contact Sen. Ted Cruz, because the bankruptcy court is in Houston, and maybe Sen. Cruz swings more weight than a Senator from Wyo. But I said, “No way! Senator Barrasso is invested in the people of Wyoming. He cares, and he’s working hard to help us.”

My mom is 80 and a retired coal miner; she is very concerned and apprehensive about the future. She had 10 years at P&M (as it was known then) and that’s not a very big pension, but her medical was vested. We live on less than $2,000 a month. If $700 of that disappears, and maybe her healthcare, too? Then her/our situation becomes very dire, indeed. I told her not to worry, though. That you and your staff are on the case.

I know the President and Senate Republicans are very busy with the border, planning his trip to Vietnam, and a dozen other things; but President Trump loves coal miners! I’ve heard him say so many times, so if you could just explain the situation to him, maybe he could find a way to help?

We’re not talking about a huge number of people here. Maybe 1000, but they’re old and dying fast. How much could it cost to give them half the pension they had coming, and pick up the healthcare costs that Medicare doesn’t cover?

Maybe there’s a little extra in the emergency funds for the farmers? Or last year’s wall money? I heard that it hasn’t even been touched yet, and soon (Trump) will have the “emergency money” for the wall …. So could we shake a little out of that tree, maybe?

You’re such a strong advocate for “energy independence,” and the industries that contribute to it, it seemed like you’d be a natural to help us, ya know? At least, to plead our case to President Trump. Thank you for your time and effort on this matter.


Frances Murphy

Diamondville, Wyo.


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