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From the Mines to the Power Lines IL DCEO Coal CurriculumEJC Is Working to End Illinois Taxpayer Subsidy for Coal-Biased Teacher’s Curriculum

The education of our children is a sacred trust that we give to our teachers. Yet, educators in Illinois are being asked to violate that trust for the economic gain and vested interests of the coal industry.

Working as part of the Heartland Coalfield Alliance, Eco-Justice Collaborative obtained a copy of “From the Coal Mines to the Power Lines”, a taxpayer supported curriculum developed by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (IDCEO) to teach elementary and high school students that coal is the clean, safe fuel of the future. To put it lightly, we were appalled to find that the State of Illinois is distributing a full teachers’ curriculum and on- line materials that offer a one-sided, inaccurate, and willfully distorted view of coal, clearly written on behalf of the coal industry.

Virtually no mention is made of coal’s liabilities, of the environmental damage that is un-avoidable in its extraction and use, nor of its documented social and environmental costs. Taken as a whole, it is a highly biased program aimed at casting coal and coal companies in the most positive light possible and encouraging public allegiance to the coal industry, beginning with the youngest and most impressionable members of society – our children.

Within the curriculum, children are taught to create commercials promoting coal, that environmental regulations will significantly raise the cost of producing electricity and that the evidence is not clear that the combustion of fossil fuels has led to a warming climate. In highlighting the attributes of coal, the curriculum skillfully ignores or glosses over the enormous social and environmental costs associated with a “clean coal” economy.

Join the campaign to hold IDCEO accountable!

The Heartland Coalfield Alliance is a state-wide alliance of community and environmental organizations working to educate residents about the full array of impacts associated with a dependence on coal as a primary fuel source and to promote a gradual transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to one reliant on conservation, efficiency and clean, safe renewable energy sources.

Join EJC and the Heartland Coalfield Alliance as we call upon the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to stop mis-informing our kids about coal and to support economic measures that will build a clean energy future for our children.  Here’s what you can do:

  • Sign the online petition at www.heartlandcoalfieldalliance.org
  • Call Governor Quinn’s office at (217) 782-0244. Tell him, “Stop misleading our children about coal.”
  • Write Governor Quinn at: Office of the Governor, 207 State House, Springfield, IL 62706.
  • Join the Heartland Coalfield Alliance campaign for science-based energy education.  Contact:

Lan Richart, Eco-Justice Collaborative

Brian Perbix, Prairie Rivers Network

Tell your colleagues and friends about the campaign!
Stay informed at: www.heartlandcoalfieldalliance.org.

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