net costs to regulate and support the coal industry chipped away $19.8
million from the state’s budget in fiscal year 2011, a new report
by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and Downstream Strategies shows.
the same year, tax incentives and grant programs for the coal industry
cost the Prairie State $12.6 million, according to the report, "The Impact of Coal on the Illinois State Budget" (PDF). Without
factoring in coal-related revenues, the state’s coal industry
expenditures totaled $66 million in the 2011 budget year, researchers found.
Environmental advocates from the Sierra Club, Prairie
Rivers Network, Faith in Place and the Eco-Justice Collaborative, which
all helped commission the report, were overall baffled by the findings.
have to wonder why in the world we as taxpayers would be giving money
to companies that are engaged in activities that directly threaten our
environment, and as this report shows, are costing us money,” said Jack
Darin, director of Illinois’ Sierra Club, on a conference call with
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