Gov. Quinn: Stop Lying to Kids About Coal

To: Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, IL DCEO Coal Development & Marketing

Earlier this week the IDCEO removed coal-related educational sections from its website. This occurred less than two weeks after the launch of our grassroots campaign demanding that the pages be taken down. Stopping the misinformation is a step toward providing an actual education about the cost of coal to our society and the world. This is a significant win. It helps unmask the mythology of “clean coal” and opens the way for science to take precedence over industry propaganda in educating our kids. It also shows that once again it is grassroots campaigns like ours that will lead the way on these issues.
Gov. Quinn: Stop Lying to Kids About Coal
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Campaign created by Sam Stearns Icon-email

Governor Pat Quinn and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity must immediately take down Illinois' misleading and deceptive web site on coal for kids.

Why is this important?

Illinois is in the process of revamping its widely denounced coal education program for schools. But it still hasn't taken down its pro-coal propaganda web site, which is one of the program's most glaring problems.

The web site is problematic for several reasons. With a mounting health care crisis from reckless increases in coal mining, the site fails to acknowledge the dangers of coal slurry impoundment sites, coal ash, mercury pollution and the documented environmental impacts of coal mining and burning.

The site also fails to acknowledge the continual battle to guarantee the health and safety of all coal miners, especially for non-union operations, as the industry fails to deal with the rising incidence of black lung disease.

Finally, it's time, once and for all, to stop lying to children by telling them that coal is clean and cheap. On top of the recent study that concludes the coal industry drains close to $20 million annually from the Illinois state budget, Illinois citizens are now dealing with the brand new Prairie State Energy coal-fired plant that plagues consumers with much higher electricity rates and emits millions of tons of CO2.

With exports of Illinois coal currently ramping up, I believe it's time to tell our children the truth about coal mining and burning, and ensure a brighter future with a just transition to clean energy.

Sam Stearns 
Friends of Bell Smith Springs
Stonefort, Illinois 

Mark Donham
Regional Association of Concerned Environmentalists 
Southern Illinois 

More information:  

IL DCEO Website on Coal for Kids
http://www.ildceo.net/dceo/Bureaus/Coal/Kids+Site/

Salon: Illinois Shamelessly Lies to Children on Coal
http://www.salon.com/2013/09/28/time_to_come_clean_about_coal_quinn_partner/

Impact of Coal on the Illinois State Budget: Downstream Strategies Report 2013
http://www.downstreamstrategies.com/documents/reports_publication/downstream-strategies_illinois_impact_of_coal_6-27-13.pdf 

Midwest Energy News: Pro-Coal School Curriculum on the Rocks
http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2013/09/04/pro-coal-school-curriculum-on-the-rocks-in-illinois/

NPR: Mine Protections Fail, Black Lung Surges
http://www.npr.org/2012/07/09/155978300/as-mine-protections-fail-black-lung-cases-surge

HuffPo: IL. Gov. Quinn Cheers Record Coal Exports
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-biggers/cheering-record-coal-expo_b_3202018.html

Chicago Tribune: Towns Pay High Price for Power (Prairie State Energy)
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-09-04/news/ct-met-costly-coal-plant-20130904_1_coal-plant-prairie-state-energy-campus-massive-coal-burning-power-plant

Salon: Big Coal Owns Illinois?
http://www.salon.com/2013/05/05/big_coal_owns_illinois_partner/

HuffPo: Coal Slurry Rogue State 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-biggers/rogue-state-of-emergency_b_3755214.html

Physicians for Social Responsibility: Coal's Assault on Human Health
http://www.psr.org/resources/coals-assault-on-human-health.html

NY Times: In Midwest, Drought Gives Way to Flooding
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/26/us/in-midwest-drought-abruptly-gives-way-to-flood.html
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Reasons for signing

  • Lisa B. 2013-10-01 08:25:52 -0700
    If the kids of Illinois believe the lies presented here and never hear about the dangers created by the oil and gas industry, the future of Illinois will be doomed. We can't let this happen!
  • John D. 2013-10-01 10:33:11 -0700
    Coal is the energy of the past -- NOT the future. Coal-based energy is catastrophic for the environment.

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