SPRINGFIELD – Following a subject matter hearing in the State Senate’s Energy & Public Utilities Committee, the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) released this statement regarding the Prairie State Energy Campus:
“After years of tireless work by legislators and advocates, a comprehensive, nation-leading clean energy bill is coming together in Springfield. So it is troubling that with less than two weeks left until the end of the session, the state’s biggest polluter is seeking a total exemption from the new legislation, allowing them to continue polluting our state with expensive, dirty energy.
“The Prairie State Coal Plant is one of the largest coal plants in the country, and it emits more toxic sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides than any source in Illinois. In fact, Prairie State emits more carbon pollution than the state’s next two largest polluters combined. Its emissions cost us nearly $2 billion in damage to our health and environment each year, causing 50 premature deaths annually.
“Prairie State enticed municipalities across the Midwest to handcuff themselves to this uneconomic, polluting coal plant literally sold out ratepayers. Enough is enough.
“Illinois is ready for a just transition to 100% clean energy. We are on the cusp of leading the nation with a comprehensive climate bill that creates equitable jobs and holds utilities accountable. We can’t lead by letting the worst polluter off the hook.”
The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition is made up of more than 200 consumer, business, environmental, environmental justice, health care, faith-based and student organizations.