DCEO’s Coal Education Program has attracted criticism from environmentalists and educators who object to the unbalanced view of coal as the necessary energy source for national security. The “coal curriculum” distributed by DCEO is a pro-coal program that does not reveal the environmental and health consequences produced by coal mining and coal use.
The program lacks facts on the effect of coal in communities and on climate change. Coal slurry impoundments, coal combustion waste, damage to health, contaminated and loss of water resources, etc. are not addressed. Subsidence was only mentioned once with respect to abandoned mines, but nothing on longwall mining effects on farmland,
water resources or roads. Air pollution is “not a problem” since the Clean Air Act has regulated air emissions. There is no recognition of polluting coal-fired plants that are exempt from the emission standards.
This coal material is nothing more than the coal industry and coal-fired utilities attempt to sell coal as a 21st century solution to US energy needs. It is tragic that the state of Illinois distributes coal misinformation and coal propaganda to our youth in Illinois on the taxpayer’s dime.