Lincoln Land Energy Center will be dirty and expensive for Central Illinois families
PAWNEE, IL – Today, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) issued an operating permit to EmberClear, a Texas-based company that went bankrupt in 2016, to build a new methane gas plant in Pawnee, Illinois. The permit will allow the Lincoln Land Energy Center, which will run on methane, a greenhouse gas that traps more heat than carbon dioxide, to emit 3.5 million tons of carbon pollution annually. This permit decision undermines Illinois’ climate progress and is out of line with the clean energy goals outlined in the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), which was signed into law last year.
In response, the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC), whose advocacy over several years was instrumental in passing CEJA, released the following statement:
“The newly approved construction of the Lincoln Land Energy Center is disappointing and out of step with the immediate needs of Ameren customers and the climate goals supported by the majority of Illinoisans. Fossil fuel price spikes and costly coal plants have increased energy market volatility, which has increased utility bills for downstate families. Simply put, the construction of a $1 billion new gas plant that emits 3.5 million tons of dirty pollution each year is an expensive and unhealthy choice for the future of our communities and climate.
“It is resoundingly clear that clean energy, not dirty and expensive gas, is the best resource to strengthen our power grid and deliver consumer savings and price stability. Thanks to the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), Illinois is already increasing the development of clean energy projects in central and downstate communities with 1,050 MW of wind and solar currently under construction. Over 6,000 MW of solar projects are awaiting various points of approval from Ameren and the grid operator, and we need to accelerate the deployment of these projects as soon as possible.”
The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) is made up of more than 200 climate groups, healthcare professionals, environmental justice champions, businesses, community leaders, labor unions, consumer advocates, faith-based and student organizations.
Following ICJC’s central role in the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act in 2016, the diverse coalition spent more than three years organizing and holding more than 100 “Listen. Lead. Share.” events to gather feedback and policy ideas from residents across Illinois. The work centered around a simple but urgent rallying cry: CEJA can’t wait.
The wait ended on September 15, 2021 when Governor JB Pritzker signed into law the most equitable clean energy jobs bill of its kind in the nation: the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA).
Visit ilcleanjobs.org to learn more.