What actions can we take to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities from the devastating effects of climate change?
A report released today by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and Downstream Strategies estimates that in the 2011 Fiscal Year, the coal industry drained nearly $20 million from the Illinois state budget in subsidies and expenditures related to supporting the coal industry. The report, The Impact of Coal on the Illinois State Budget, was commissioned by the Sierra Club, Prairie Rivers Network, Faith in Place, and Eco-Justice Collaborative.
Working with the Heartland Coalfield Alliance, EJC sends delegations of local activists to learn about the impact of coal mining in central and southern Illinois, which includes destruction of farmland, natural areas, and entire communities, and groundwater pollution from coal slurry and unlined pools of coal ash and sludge.
Like tar sands oil, much of Illinois’s high-sulfur coal is being exported to developing countries – which Richart argues should put to rest the argument that “all-of-the-above” development is needed for “energy independence.”