If passed, new proposed EPA restrictions could cripple mining in Southern Illinois, critics allege. Each May, the Old King Coal festival takes over the town of West Frankfort.
The city used to be a boom town filled with coal mines and a population nearing 20,000. “Now there are no coal mines in West Frankfort. There is one coal mine in Franklin County and the population is just a little over 8,000.” said Old King Coal Advertising Director Marcia Raubach.
The goal of the Old King Coal festival is to make sure people know just how important coal mining is here in Southern Illinois.
“40 percent of the energy in the state of Illinois comes from coal burn. What happens if we lose that? Electricity rates go up, rolling brownouts and blackouts.” commented Bost. New proposed EPA regulations are threatening the industry that many Southern Illinoisans rely so heavily on. Something Congressman Mike Bost is trying to stop.
If passed the restrictions would result in an increased use of other recourses like Natural Gas. Bost says he is hopeful for the future of coal in Southern Illinois.
“It does look bright as long as we keep the federal EPA back which we are doing and trying to keep them at bay.” added Bost.
The new regulations would require more restrictions on emissions. Scientists say they would save thousands of lives by cleaning-up the air in major cities.
“If they were implemented it would devastate the coal industry.” said Bost.
The festival wraps up Sunday, next year will mark the event’s 75th anniversary.
See the article here.
- On May 11, 2015