The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

May 29, 2013

Stand against coal mine


Commercial-News

HOMER — Editor:

I write to express in the strongest possible terms my opposition to the proposed coal mine that threatens the short- and long-term health of our land and water.

Compared to the long-term consequences and costs, the short-term profits to our area are small.

The few promised jobs would come at a terrible price.

A mine would destroy and threaten to subside our farmland.

A mine would overuse, abuse and pollute our watershed.

The State of Illinois mistakenly encourages and grants permits for new coal mines, while doing nothing to ensure that coal mine operators serve as good stewards of our resources.

Illinois does not even collect severance or sales taxes on this kind of operation, although our neighboring states do. Why should this kind of business be allowed to strip our resources — with some of it to be sold overseas — without giving anything back to our community or region?

The State of Illinois has a terrible track record of enforcing environmental regulations against businesses that damage our environment, and is even worse when it comes to making polluters such as coal mines clean up after themselves. We taxpayers could end up paying the cost.

We need to take the long-term view, and act now to protect our precious natural heritage for ourselves and our future generations.

I encourage all local residents to take action now, to prevent the use of our precious resources from being granted to businesses with no stake in our community.

Keith Williams

Homer