The anger toward Washington is palpable in this impoverished corner of Eastern Kentucky ...
It is hard to find anyone here who does not feel affected by the fate of Big Sandy. Just as the smokestack at the plan towers over the countryside, Big Sandy dominates much of life here.
Danny Sartin, 61, a barrel-chested heavy equipment operator at the plant, said his father, grandfathers and uncles all worked in the mines that feed Big Sandy. "Coal and the coal mining industry, it's all we have ever known," Mr. Sartin said.
Chirs Lacy, 41, an executive at Licking River Resources, Inc. [about 50 miles South of Big Sandy and a supplier to the power plant], said layoffs among his 350 miners--in Magoffin County, where unemployment is already 17.5 percent--are inevitable if the coal furnaces at Big Sandy go cold. Even the garden supply company that Mr. Lacy's father-in-law owns and where his two sons work indirectly relies on Big Sandy because mines are required to plant grass over the scarred earth they leave behind. "It is the ripple effect that comes right through us," Mr. Lacy said.