Illinois Coal Mascot

via Midwest Energy NewsA smiling lump of coal shaped like Illinois tells kids that coal is ace.

A dark era of pro-coal brainwashing funded by Illinois taxpayers may finally be coming to an end.

We told you last month that the state’s Commerce Department, which oversees a coal-education program mandated by state law, had urged an overhaul of the materials that it provides to teachers. A review by the department concluded that the materials were biased in favor of the dirty fossil fuel.

Now comes news from coal journalist Jeff Biggers, writing on Monday for Yes Magazine, that the department has stripped controversial coal-related educational material from its website:

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The website sections were supposed to educate children about energy, but had been widely denounced because they focused on misleading pro-coal messages. …

As pressure increased on the department to take action, staff members initially claimed that they were too broke to fix the problem. Then the pages disappeared from the site on Monday. Earlier screen shots show sections called “Education” and “Kid’s Site,” neither of which was visible when YES! checked the DCEO site today. …

“This is a victory for our children and schools,” said Sam Stearns, a former coal miner who helped to organize for the site to be changed, “and a first step toward refashioning an energy education program that tells the truth about the health and environmental impacts of coal mining and burning.”

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The website pages were deleted less than two weeks after Stearns launched a petition-based campaign against them.

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