Illinois Community Takes On Coal Baron

Stories from the Heartland
Citizens Against Longwall Mining Speak Out

Longwall mining at Deer Run Mine and its “planned subsidence” now threatens over 5000 acres of highly productive farmland in Montgomery County. The mine is owned and operated by Hillsboro Energy LLC, an affiliate of the Cline Group. Coal baron Chris Cline is one of the driving forces behind expanding Illinois Basin coal production.  Chris made his fortune in Appalachia before acquiring rights to high-energy, high-sulfur Illinois coal. Spending $300 million on mining rights and equipment in Illinois, he predicted that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would require power plants to use scrubbers in removing pollutants. Illinois coal has too much sulfur to be safely burned without pollution control equipment.

In this video produced by Eco-Justice Collaborative, Citizens Against Longwall Mining share stories of their struggle to stop the development of a coal mine within the city limits of their small central Illinois community. Residents express their frustration over what they feel has been an unfair permitting process and voice their concerns over the loss of prime farmland; altered drainage patterns; the displacement of farm residences and a high-hazard coal slurry impoundment dam, near a hospital, school, nursing home, and day care center. If this impoundment were to break or rupture, it would result in loss of life and property.  And a second one, twice the size as the first, was recently approved even closer to these homes, businesses, schools and the hospital.

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