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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The shutdown of the Crandall Canyon Mine has one customer scrambling to keep a major power station operating.
Intermountain Power Agency used to take coal from the mine where six men have been trapped for nearly a month and three rescuers died trying to dig them out.
That and another mining shutdown has IPA looking around to maintain its three-month stockpile of coal at the Delta power station.
IPA General Manager Reed Searle says solving the coal shortage won't be easy.
IPA wheels power for a consortium of 36 municipal power providers in Utah and California.
It also is half-owner of the Crandall Canyon mine, and that makes it liable for the mounting search and rescue tab -- and fatalities.
The biggest expense so far has been the drilling to find the miners more than 1,500 feet underground.
Mine boss Bob Murray told The Associated Press it costs about $600,000 to drill each hole.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)