WIUM Tristates Public Radio


Peabody Energy has three coal mines in southern Illinois, all of which are still producing coal.

When those mines eventually shut down, the company is required by state and federal laws to pay for the clean-up and reclamation of the land. St. Louis-based Peabody has guaranteed the state of Illinois it has the estimated $92 million to cover that work.

But as the company considers bankruptcy, some question whether the St. Louis-based company’s promise is worth much.

Coal Miners Movement Emerges in Southern Illinois

Feb 19, 2016
flickr, Atze van Dijk

Bob Sandidge has been in the coal industry for 40 years.  But he's never seen it this bad.  "You turn around and one company lays off people, and another company just filed for bankruptcy and another company is cutting way back," he said.

Jeff Clay

Clayton Daughenbaugh has lived in the Chicago area since 1985. But he’s heavily involved in preserving a wilderness area in southern Utah.

The Department of Energy said it has suspended the long-planned FutureGen “clean-coal” project in western Illinois.

The Sierra Club is appealing an Illinois regulatory agency’s conclusion that the pollution controls for the FutureGen project are adequate.

Rich Egger

Corporations and mainstream media often repeat the “jobs vs. the environment” angle to situations, but that’s a false choice.


The Illinois Department of Natural Resources denied Springfield Coal Company’s application to renew its surface coal mining permit at the Industry mine.

Groups Want Coal Mine Rules Enforced

Apr 3, 2014

Groups such as the Sierra Club of Illinois feel the state has plenty of regulations for coal mining, but enforcement of rules has been lax.


Those fighting against a permit renewal application for a western Illinois coal mine are flabbergasted by the latest development in the process.

EPA Ordered to Make Stricter Coal Ash Rules

Oct 7, 2013

A federal court has ordered the US Environmental Protection Agency to more strictly regulate a form of pollution from coal fired power plants, including plants in Western Illinois.

Report says Coal Costs IL Money Overall

Jul 1, 2013
Marianne Morgan/InIllinoisWater.org

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and the group Downstream Strategies have issued a report saying the coal industry is actually a drain on the Illinois economy.

While the United States has seen an overall decline in the production and use of coal, there is a different story in Illinois.

During the first half of this year, Illinois coal production was 13% higher than the same period last year. That has been driven in significant part by power plants that have switched from Appalachia's higher-cost coal to Illinois' cheaper coal. Illinois coal has more sulfur, a pollutant, but at least 30 power plants in the region have added scrubbing equipment that allows them to burn Illinois coal.