Stop Teaching Children Denounced Coal Education Program


Target: Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois

Goal: Stop the misleading Coal Education Program from being taught in Illinois schools

Even two years after the coal industry-backed “Coal Education Program” was discredited by advocacy groups, Illinois still has to re-evaluate the curriculum that fails to mention the negative impacts of coal on the environment and for human health. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) Office of Coal Development claims that it has no money to revamp the education program, even though Illinois is in the midst of a brash coal rush resulting in obscene amounts of coal exports. Please condemn this propagandist “Coal Education” program and demand that children be taught how detrimental the effects of coal and coal mining can be.

A recent study revealed that the coal industry drains around $20 million from the state’s budget every year, which does not even speak to the damage that the industry is doing by miseducating the children of Illinois. Even though the Illinois Coal Technology Development Assistance Act mandates promoting public awareness about the impacts of the coal industry on the environment and health, the DCEO continues to maintain a website for children that makes egregious claims like working conditions in coal mines are safe and that water and air pollution from mining have been made virtually nonexistent.

If Illinois’ “Coal Education Program” should continue, it must include information about stripmined destruction of historic communities, black lung disease, coal ash and slurry contamination, among other issues. Tell the state of Illinois to delay no more and stop misinforming the public about the damage that coal mining inflicts on people and the environment.


Dear Governor Pat Quinn,

The so-called “Coal Education Program” taught to children in Illinois schools is overdue for a re-evaluation, and one that gives students a holistic picture of coal mining, including the industry’s effects on the environment and human health. According to a recently released study, the coal industry drains $20 million from Illinois’ budget each year, and yet the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Coal Development has the audacity to claim that there is not enough money to improve upon the Coal Education Program. Please exert more pressure on to the DCEO to include the serious negative effects of coal and coal mining in its program.

The omissions in the supposedly educational program are unacceptable and irresponsible. Children should be made aware of realities such as black lung disease, stripmined and longwalled-mined destruction of historic communities, forced displacement, coal ash and slurry contamination, carbon dioxide and mercury emissions, and the truth about land reclamation.

Please do not let the DCEO delay anymore in their obligation to educate the public on the most accurate picture of coal, which includes the negative effects of both its manufacturing process and its consumption as energy. Children should be exposed to the truth about coal.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: findoffenseinreason via Flickr

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