The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

July 12, 2013

Coal mine not a done deal


HOMER — Editor:

We recently witnessed more of Sunrise Coal’s public relations propaganda as they broke the recent news of a contract for water to wash coal from the city of Georgetown in another effort to make the proposed Bulldog mine seem like an inevitability.

However, any Hallador/Sunrise investors should realize that the mine is not here yet as there are still many hurdles to overcome before any permit will be issued. Widespread community opposition early on has caused costly delays. Legal fees mounted as they battled for sewer service and potable water.

Sunrise has been forced into more expensive alternatives for its raw water supply, and it is having trouble securing all the desired mineral leases as evidenced by “holes” in the lease map. Determined farm families will not sell critical tracts of land for a railroad spur Sunrise needs to deliver coal from the processing facility to the main line, which could require costly trucking should the coal ever make it to the surface. And if Sunrise/Hallador decides to seek overseas markets, don’t count on the barges on the Mississippi River to transport the coal to the Gulf of Mexico. The drought of 2012 severely affected the water level of the river, leaving barges stranded and deliveries delayed.

Isn’t it time to think about investing in more sustainable and beneficial companies?

Suzanne Smith