The Illinois EPA has proposed regulations for coal ash storage; however, the proposed rules fall short of protecting surface waters, groundwater and drinking water supplies.

You can tell the Illinois Pollution Control Board to pass the strongest rules possible to protect Illinois’ environment and communities by signing this petition.   Click here for fact sheets, taking points and more  …



Coal has gotten a black eye in the U.S., but Foresight Energy thinks coal is golden.

The miner raised $350 million in an initial public offering even as coal takes a beating from environmental regulations and competition from natural gas for generating electricity. The company on Tuesday priced 17.5 million shares at $20 apiece, valuing Foresight at $2.6 billion.


Foresight says its Illinois mines have thick, contiguous seams that can be mined for one-third the cost of Appalachian mines.

Company founder Chris Cline, a third-generation miner, a decade ago persuaded investors to finance his acquisition of four Illinois Basin mines. Coal from those properties produced two to three times as much as sulfur, which contributes to acid rain, as coal mined in Central Appalachia. But Mr. Cline believed demand would increase once utilities installed scrubbers to reduce sulfur emissions. While total U.S. coal production fell 7% in 2012, it rose 10% in the Illinois Basin. More



For a revealing look at the broken Illinois coal regulatory system, watch this video of a recent hearing in Hillsboro, filmed and produced by EJC. Coal baron Chris Cline and Hillsboro Energy, LLC’s interests trump those of farmers and residents.

First watch the video, then follow the money in this excellent article by Will Reynolds that chronicles the campaign donations given to elected officials by Cline.


  • Justice for Rocky Branch

    The Rocky Branch community is surrounded by mining, including Peabody's Wildcat Hills Mine
  • Justice for Rocky Branch

    Peabody is proposing to expand nearby Cottage Grove Mine by 1,019 acres
  • Justice for Rocky Branch

    Impacts from existing mine operations include coal dust, noise and constant truck traffic
  • Justice for Rocky Branch

    Expansion means road closures, damaged farmland, home displacement and destruction of streams and forest
  • Citizens Against Longwall Mining

    Deer Run Mine is a longwall mine in Montgomery County, IL, owned by Hillsboro Energy, a subsidiary of the Cline Group
  • Citizens Against Longwall Mining

    An 80-foot tall, high-hazard coal slurry impoundment was built near a hospital, school, nursing home and day care center
  • Citizens Against Longwall Mining

    Coal slurry is toxic and includes carcinogenic compounds and heavy metals that cannot be recycled or reused
  • Citizens Against Longwall Mining

    Now Hillsboro Energy wants to build a second impoundment next to the first that would be twice the size

Peabody’s Rocky Branch Mine (photos)
Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal company, is on the move in Saline County. It has filed an application to expand its strip mining operation to allow mining of up to 1,019 acres in the Rocky Branch Community south of state Route 13 and east of Harrisburg. Peabody has applied to Saline County for permission to close Rocky Branch Road to the public, elevate it and use it for a haul road for the mine.

Support the residents in their opposition and their right to maintain their livelihoods and quality of life! They already are hearing the blasting associated with existing mining seven days a week and are concerned that mining operations would cause flooding, destroy family farms, and be located up to 300 feet from some of their homes. Read:

Homeowners Worried About Mining
Classic Strip Mining Battle Looms

CALM / Deer Run Mine (photos)
Citizens Against Longwall Mining (CALM) is a group of central Illinois residents who have been fighting the Deer Run Coal Mine in Hillsboro, IL since 2004. They  are opposed to coal mining practices such as longwall mining that destroy fertile farmland (sinking some of the world’s most valuable farmland by as much as six feet), as well as coal ash and coal slurry disposal methods that threaten the health of their communities, lands and waters.

Deer Run Mine is owned and operated by a Hillsboro Energy, a subsidiary of The Cline Group. Chris Cline made his fortune in Appalachia before moving to the Illinois coal basin.  Contrary to original approvals for an “in ground” slurry disposal area, an above-ground, high-hazard coal slurry impoundment was built in the City of Hillsboro, near a hospital, nursing home, daycare, and homes.  It is 80-feet tall and covers more than a square mile. Now a second impoundment, twice the size as the first, is proposed next to the first.

Support CALM by attending the February 19, 2014 public hearing in Montgomery Co. for the five-year renewal for the Deer Run Mine permit #399, which includes the first impoundment. More …

SUTC / Bulldog Mine (photos)
Sunrise Coal LLC of Terre Haute, Indiana has been approaching landowners in Vermilion and Champaign Counties and asking them to sign a lease granting Sunrise the ability to mine coal under the prime farmland of this area. Landowners, property owners and residents of the area that includes the towns of Allerton, Sidell, Fairmount, Homer and Broadlands, Illinois have formed a group called Stand Up to Coal to prevent the destruction of their farmland and agricultural quality of life.

Stand Up to Coal believes in local control. Over the past four years, they have prevented Sunrise Coal from meeting their targeted 2014 opening date due to widespread and successful strategic community opposition.  Sign their petition and learn more here.

CACEI / North Canton Mine (photos)
The Capital Resource Development Company, LLC’s North Canton Mine is proposed to be located just over a mile north of Canton Lake in Canton, Illinois. The mine would destroy over 1,000 acres of woods and farmland; threaten both the health and quality of life of our community, including Canton Lake, a source of clean drinking water for over 20,000 people (approximately 54% of the county’s population).  As proposed, the mine would discharge pollution into Copperas Creek about a mile upstream of Canton Lake.  Private wells and septic tanks in rural areas also could be affected by this pollution.

This is the same group responsible for the disastrous Industry Mine in McDonough and Schuyler Counties – which has violated its water permit 624 times between 2004 and 2001!  Support the organizing efforts of Canton Area Citizens for Environmental Issues (CACEI) in their appeal of the original North Canton Mine permit #385. Sign their petition and watch their website for further actions.

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