Everybody is jumping on the clean coal bandwagon. The buzzword is clean coal, heard in the newspaper offices, radio and TV stations, township halls, city halls, county courthouses, state legislatures and the Governor's Mansion in Illinois. The talk of clean coal is in the U.S. Congress and the White House.
The U.S. government made one big boo-boo in the 1990 Clean Air Act disaster. The coal underground today was on top of the ground 300 million years ago. In the last 11 years the coal mines have just about become as extinct as the dinosaurs.
The federal government and the state of Illinois have a second chance to rescue the coal mines from a total shutdown. All of the power companies in the state should build coal-burning power plants instead of water turbine power plants. Also, Illinois power companies need to buy Illinois coal instead of Western coal.
I am a third generation former coal miner with 12 years of coal mining experience. My vision is to see the underground city of coal prosper once again.
Orville Hodge was a Republican, not a Democrat (see Illinois Issues, May, page 30). He was elected state auditor of public accounts, then resigned in 1956 after developing what the late author Robert Howard called "a yearning for more spending money than was provided by his official salary and minor league real estate business at Granite City."