The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

August 28, 2013

Time to stop the mine

The Commercial-News

---- — Time to stop the mine

Some people support the proposed Bulldog Mine (Sunrise Coal) that is planned to be built close to Homer because it means “jobs.”

To learn more about those jobs, check out the safety data from the U.S. Department of Labor for the Carlisle Mine in Indiana operated by Sunrise. You’ll find 62 injuries just since January 2011 and hundreds prior to that. Injuries range from hernias to pelvic fractures, lacerations to face, eyes and limbs, contusions, crushed digits, pinched nerves, strains and spider bites.

In May 2005 there was a fire in the mine when methane gas ignited due a spark from a drill bit. Since 2011 there have been 19 reports of “roof falls,” when chunks of rock break away from the mine ceiling and crash to the floor.

There are hundreds of violations with government fines total more than $1 million. These are the kinds of jobs for which we will sacrifice our water, land and human resources.

People also expect the proposed mine to bring prosperity, but the jobless rate for Carlisle has almost doubled since the mine started, from 6.1 percent to 11.3 percent.

The truth is that no one wants to live in a “coal town.” Coal workers commute from up to an hour away. In Vermilion County, that might mean competing with experienced miners from up to 70 miles away.

The bottom line is that Sunrise will strip away the coal, sell it to China and leave us a 400-acre toxic wasteland. Contact Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and tell him to stop the mine. It’s not too late.

Anna Keck