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Entering its second week, the inspiring Washington University sit-in against Peabody Energy has already gone beyond its goals to cut school ties with the St. Louis-based coal giant, and forced the rest of the nation to ask themselves an urgent question in an age of climate change and reckless strip mining ruin: Which side are you on?

While coal mining families in West Virginia and across the country mourned the fourth anniversary of the tragic Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster last week, hailed by US Attorney R. Booth Goodwin II as "a conspiracy to violate mine safety and health laws," the Illinois state legislature rolled out the red carpet for Big Coal and voted to keep a notorious "coal education program" for schools that has been widely denounced by former coal miners and educators as inaccurate industry propaganda.

Washington D.C., Apr 1 - For the first time, members of Congress today called upon EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to “investigate and address the water contamination” in Dimock, Pennsylvania; Parker County, Texas; and Pavillion, Wyoming. In all three communities, EPA has previously withdrawn investigations into water contamination and stopped providing affected residents with clean drinking water. Eight Representatives, led by Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-17), made the request in a letter to Administrator McCarthy.

What happens when government regulators fail to uphold coal mining laws, in a state of constant violations?

No one knows better than residents in Illinois: Today marks the March 25th anniversary of the tragic Centralia, Illinois coal disaster, when government inaction on a violation-ridden coal mine led to an explosion that needlessly took the lives of 111 miners.

UPDATE: Rocky Branch Road Peaceful Blockage Stops Peabody 11:30 am CST

Facing off with the world's largest coal company, which literally sank its first historic mine nearby in 1895, Rocky Branch farmers, residents and supporters fighting to protect their Shawnee Hills community against a violation-ridden and potentially devastating strip mine set up a road blockade this morning.

With mounting violations and administrative errors, will Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan finally intervene in the most controversial strip mine in southern Illinois?

Are you feeling frustrated by the lack of action in Washington on the biggest problems facing the nation, such as economic inequality and climate change? Are you tired of watching a moderate Democratic president stuck in stalemate with Republicans in Congress?

Gov. Jerry Brown faced protests at the state Democratic Party convention Saturday from crowds of progressives opposed to fracking, even as he attempted to make the case that California has led the country on climate change and renewable energy issues.

"The challenge facing California is not just drought today; it's climate change, now and forever," said Brown, as dozens of party activists holding "Another Democrat Against Fracking" signs rushed to the front of the hall and stood in their seats at the Los Angeles Convention Center, yelling their opposition to the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to expand natural gas production.

Rex Tillerson is mad. In fact, Fracking Mad.

This 61-year old farmer from Bartonville, Texas is another victim of Big Oil's fracking boom that has invaded people's homes and lives from upstate New York to Southern California.

As Illinois finds itself once again in the throes of a short-term coal rush with devastating health and environmental consequences, it’s time to finally turn the page on the past and transition to a future with more sustainable economic development.

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