Tour of Illinois lets students see impacts of coal energy

Students will get a chance to travel Illinois and see how coal energy affects the state in the Coal to Clean Energy Tour on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Participants will go to Decatur, Springfield, Farmersville, Carlinville and Hillsboro, said EmilY Cross, spokeswoman for the event.

Cross said the event originally had slots for 20 students, but they eventually accepted 35.

Event-goers will see first-hand the effect coal has on community, in terms of how they deal with pollution and coal ash and in having to choose between dirty forms of energy and having no energy at all.

Cross said participants will also see viable alternatives to coal energy, such as a production plant in Decatur that produces biofuels from prairie plants.

Besides being an educational opportunity, Cross said this is a good opportunity to network with other students who share your passion, since students from the University of Iowa, the University of Missouri, the University of Chicago and DePaul University will also be attending.