Closing The Prairie State Coal Plant Protects Clean Air, Consumers, And The Climate

Climate change is no longer an impending crisis. We’re in a state of emergency right now. Last month, more than 480 people died in the Pacific Northwest when temperatures skyrocketed to 117 degrees. Last week, the Gulf of Mexico was on fire.

But instead of taking action in Illinois, fossil fuel companies and out-of-state interest groups are working overtime to mislead consumers about the health, cost, and climate impacts of toxic coal plants. Recently, Congressman Rodney Davis earned a “Pants on Fire” rating for claiming that the Prairie State coal plant was somehow not a major polluter.

Here’s the truth: Prairie State is one of the largest polluters in the nation, and that one plant is responsible for nearly 30% of all CO2 emissions in the Illinois power sector. 

The impact of this toxic coal plant isn’t theoretical: Prairie State causes roughly one premature death every week and costs nearly $2 billion a year in damage to our health and environment.

Legislators have an opportunity to pass an equitable energy bill that not only closes dangerous coal plants like Prairie State, but provides resources for impacted communities while maintaining reliable power for everyone in Illinois.