The debate over whether coal is a source of pollution that should be phased out or a viable energy and jobs source that should be further pursued rages on, but a recent survey by a utility watchdog shows there may some middle ground on the subject. About 75 percent of those surveyed by the Citizen's Utility Board threw their support behind the fossil fuel, saying it was a good source of jobs worthy of Illinois investment or at the very least that it should be preserved with stronger environmental regulations.
CUB Spokesman Jim Chilsen says it is important to take the temperature of their supporters on occasion.
Back to the topic of coal in Illinois, state law requires all 23 of Illinois' coal-fired power plants to reduce mercury emissions by 90 percent by 2015. More than 90-percent of the plants have already met their goal. Chilsen reminds that it is always more efficient and "greener" to not use fossil fuels in the first place, and points to their website's energy-saver web tool for guidance.