Coal mine jobs are dirty and dangerous

Coal mine jobs are dirty and dangerous

Some people support the proposed Bulldog mine (Sunrise Coal) that is planned to be built close to Homer because it means jobs.

To learn more about those jobs, check out the safety data from the U.S. Department of Labor for the Carlisle mine in Indiana operated by Sunrise. You'll find 62 injuries since January 2011 and hundreds prior to that. Injuries range from hernias to pelvic fractures, lacerations, contusions, crushed digits, pinched nerves, strains and spider bites.

In May 2005, there was a fire in the mine when methane gas ignited. Since 2011 there have been 19 reports of "roof falls" (when chunks of rock break away from the mine ceiling and crash to the floor). No one was killed, luckily.

There are hundreds of violations with government fines totaling over $1 million. These are the kinds of jobs for which we will sacrifice our water, land and human resources.

People also expect the proposed mine to bring prosperity, but the jobless rate for the town of Carlisle almost doubled since the mine started up, from 6.1 percent to 11.3 percent. The truth is that no one wants to live in a coal town and thus coal workers commute from up to an hour away.

In Vermilion County, that might mean competing with experienced miners from up to 70 miles away or a radius of 140 miles. The bottom line is that Sunrise will strip away the coal, sell it to China, and leave us a 400-acre toxic wasteland.

Contact Gov. Quinn and your local representatives and tell them to stop the mine. It's not too late.




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