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Farmers question impact of new Illinois mine

Keith Rohl remembers the day he was asked to lease the coal rights to his farmland in Homer, Ill.
It was 2009, a wet year for the crops, when he was lined up at the grain elevator with his neighbors hearing about the proposed Bulldog Mine for the first time.
“The neighbors were all talking about, ‘You sell your coal rights, and you get to farm your land on top. You’re going to have all kinds of money and everything.’ And I thought ‘Boy, that sounds great to me, and I was ready to sign up,’ ” he said.
But the more Rohl talked with the company who planned to establish the mine, Sunrise Coal LLC, the less he understood about what the mine would mean long term for his community.