Apollo 13 Mission Director Was Key Note Speaker For Coal Mining Convention

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(Source www.newswire.net)  Gene Kranz, the Apollo 13 mission director, was the key note speaker at the 105th annual Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute Convention on June 30th at Snowmass Village in Colorado. The annual meeting and convention was entitled “Into the Headwinds of Change” and began at the Anderson Hoagland ballroom where the Apollo 13 mission director, Gene Granz, delivered the Key Note Address.

Gene Kranz was leader of the legendary “Tiger Team” made up of NASA flight directors who assisted the damaged Apollo 13 space shuttle’s journey back to Earth safely. The role that Gene Kranz played in the crisis is the stuff of legend, and a statement he made “Failure is not an option” has become a famous quotation. Following the miraculous success of the Apollo 13 mission, Gene was granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom due to his heroism, leadership skills, and unflinching resolve. In the film Apollo 13, which starred Tom Hanks, his character was played by the actor Ed Harris.

Into the Headwinds of Change, focused on the enormous changes that the energy industry is facing over the next couple of decades. Humanity’s world wide demand for power continues to grow. A great many governments are applying pressure to the industry to find more environmentally friendly and more renewable energy sources than sources we currently depend on. This leaves the coal mining industry, one of the oldest means of producing electric power, with both great opportunity, and the potential for crisis. Many people see the burning of coal to produce power as a major factor in climate change and pollution. However, the continued rising of demand for electricity, with no signs of lessening demand, provides the opportunity.

Dealing with the negative views endorsed by both environmentalists and governments, it sure helps the coal industry to have the support of Gene Kranz, who solved very difficult problems for the Apollo team that no one ever had to solve before, in the face of impossible odds. The issue of the need to develop clean coal retrieving technologies, and green energy conversation technology, is a challenge that although differs in many ways, is by no means less difficult. There were several other speakers at the convention as well.

The CEO of Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, Jim Bausell, also made an address at the convention. Members of Touchstone Alliance produces the power for over 15 million customers in over 40 states each day. The President of Powder River Coal, the second largest coal producer in the entire United States, also spoke.
The Convention addressed specific key topics for the coal mining industry. For example, there were workshops led on carbon sequestration. Sequestration is a new technology in development that aims to trap the CO2 emissions from electrical plants by biological means. For Example, under the ocean floor, certain types of rock formations, and various other means to prevent the CO2 from assimilating into the atmosphere.

Some of the other topics that were covered are: Behavioral Safety, Coal Markets, MSHA of the Future, and more. Here are some other events that occurred:

– Safety awards were presented to the surface and underground mines that had 0 fatalities for the year.

– A course on Reliability and Maintenance took place prior to the convention, on June 26th and the 27th.

– Nine rescue teams were near the property, close to the Silvertree Hotel. They demonstrated evaluation scenarios. They were equipped with full gear, had victims, and evaluators that showed off the impressive skills that these teams use to rescue trapped, or injured miners.

Participants from over 20 states arrived at this year’s convention. Rest assured, with the success of the convention, and a speaker like Gene Kranz to back it up, the coal mining industry is finally showing the first signs of a massive shift towards more environmentally friendly techniques.

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