At the town hall meeting on April 19, I voiced the following to our absent Representative Shimkus. The Stream Protection Rule was enacted to target mountaintop removal coal mines where debris containing toxic metals could reach nearby streams, thereby threatening water quality. Representative Shimkus, you cosponsored joint resolution number 38 which has overturned the Stream Protection Rule because you believe that you are protecting coal mining jobs in Illinois. Since 2008, 300 coal plants have closed as electric companies are switching to natural gas and renewables. Doesn't it make more sense to create new jobs to replace the coal mining jobs that are on their way out? Where is the logic in allowing an industry to save money and temporarily save jobs if it harms the health of people through water pollution (and air pollution once the coal is burned)? Is profit worth more than our health and the health of our planet?

Ellen Wolcott, Charleston

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