A congressional candidate and his old boss say coal must be a big part of the present and future of Downstate Illinois.  Rodney Davis, the Taylorville Republican seeking the open 13th Congressional District seat, accepted the endorsement of the Illinois Coal Association and also made a pitch for expanding the lock-and-dam system:
 
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“The mines in Macoupin and Montgomery Counties – they rely on shipping their coals through those locks and dams and getting it out on the open market, because the environmental regulatory environment in this country won’t allow coal to be burned at the capacity they need to keep miners employed,” he said.
 
Davis formerly worked for U. S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville), who agrees coal is a huge issue: “Is there a war on coal by this administration? Undeniably, yes … and that hurts rural, small-town America, where the major employers are coal mines or our power plant that’s there,” he said.
 
Shimkus would not join his colleague, U. S. Rep. Tim Johnson (R-Urbana), in decrying the negative tone of the race between Davis and Bloomington Democrat David Gill, saying the race would not be a targeted one had Johnson not dropped out of it after the primary.
 
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