Eldorado– Southern Illinois businessman, and State Representative – District 118 candidate, Jason Kasiar, believes coal is a vital and important part of the Southern Illinois economy. Today he announced several key initiatives to re-energize the industry.
“Coal is a vital part of the economy here in Southern Illinois,” Kasiar, said. “It’s important for the people we send to Springfield to do more than just give lip service to the coal industry. They must take a proactive role in promoting coal and helping coal make a comeback in Southern Illinois. Incumbent Phelps was a supporter and delegate for President Obama. How can he say he supports Illinois coal when at the same time he went out of his way to support a presidential candidate who has waged war on the coal industry in Illinois? Its no wonder the Southern Illinois coal industry has suffered so much under Incumbent Phelps’ watch.”
Kasiar added, “Career politicians like Incumbent Phelps have continued to make excuses and fail us on these important issues for years. As a Southern Illinois businessman, I’m not interested in playing party politics or making excuses; I’m interested in results. That’s why I have a plan to fight the Democrat War on Coal and get our hard working miners back to work.”
Jason’s Plan to Re-energize Southern Illinois Coal
1. Increase the use of Illinois coal in Illinois power plants by authorizing and encouraging all related state departments and agencies (IL: Power Agency, Commerce Commission, Department of Revenue, EPA, etc.) to create incentives for coal-fired power plants to install scrubbers and use Illinois coal.
By investing in new markets and the use of Illinois coal in our own state we can create jobs and lower energy costs for consumers. Less than 10% of the coal mined in Illinois is used here. It costs hundreds of millions of dollars annually for companies to transport coal from western states to our coal burning power plants. That cost is then passed on to the consumer, but by creating incentives for power plants to install scrubbers to meet regulations and burn Illinois coal, we can eliminate those costs, save essential jobs in Southern Illinois and put the dollars saved back in the pockets of our citizens.
2. Form a coalition of coal miners, coal owners, coal researchers, local mayors and others to investigate non-government solutions, aggressively promote Southern Illinois coal and grow international markets for Southern Illinois coal.
The Obama-Democrats have continued their war on coal and our hardworking coal miners. Southern Illinois needs proactive leadership to pull community leaders together to find solutions, promote and save the coal industry.
3. Actively educate state leaders and lawmakers about the importance of the coal industry in Southern Illinois.
Host a coal summit inviting state and federal lawmakers from across the state to tour Southern Illinois coal mines, to come together for proposals and additional solutions at all levels of government. This platform of multi-governmental cooperation will be key in protecting our vital coal industry.
4. Invest in coal research at Southern Illinois University and set up a privately funded, science-based scholarship for Southern Illinois students who are interested in specializing their scientific studies on the existing sustainable coal use practices and the development of new coal related technology.
There are coal deposits all over the world. Southern Illinois should be leading the effort in creating new and environmentally friendly ways to use it. Budget cuts have hurt our students and the coal research at SIU. Investing in our students and those who are interested in specializing their scientific studies on the existing sustainable coal use practices and the development of new coal related technology should be a priority.
5. Promote the use of coal ash for construction and repair projects.
Fly ash is a byproduct from burning pulverized coal in electric power generating plants Fly ash acts as a bonding agent and is often used in cement. For every ton of fly ash used in place of Portland Cement, about a ton of carbon dioxide is prevented from entering the Earth’s atmosphere. The use of fly ash is good for the environment and adds even more value to the coal industry.
Kasiar concluded, “Incumbent Phelps has been in office during one of the steepest declines in the history of the coal industry in Southern Illinois. There is no excuse for his failure. We deserve better. Not tomorrow. Not next year. Right now. The reason I introduced this plan is to start the discussion now, and if elected I’ll do more than just show up and vote on legislation. I’ll be a proactive leader that stands up for and brings results to our communities on these important issues every single day.”