Over one year ago I wrote to members of the General Assembly with my support for the Taylorville Energy Center. Today I repeat that support, particularly as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency takes aim at coal power plants through their rules on greenhouse gas emissions.
While I fervently oppose those EPA rules, the Taylorville Energy Center would meet them while still using Illinois coal.
Jobs. That's a word that we hear in both Washington, DC, and Springfield from politicians of both parties and from constituents and community groups. Taylorville Energy Center is all about jobs: construction jobs now, coal mine jobs, and power plant jobs.
We have already seen older coal power plants being mothballed. And those new EPA rules will surely make it worse. Illinois is going to need additional electricity generating capacity. Taylorville Energy Center will be there to serve Illinois.
Another frequent issue we often hear is community support. Well, in this case the local community has been very supportive of the Taylorville Energy Center. And the many groups supporting the Taylorville Energy Center do not always come together like this either. They are business and labor, environmentalists and people like me.
The Senate passed S.B. 678 last fall in a bipartisan manner, and the House is expected to vote on that measure this spring. As someone involved daily in Washington with energy issues, I urge members of the Illinois House of Representatives to support this legislation.
To quote from a letter of support jointly signed by the Mayor of Taylorville, Illinois Coal Association, AFL-CIO, Citizens Utility Board, and Clean Air Task Force: "Developing clean coal power is a win-win-win for Illinois -- good for the economy, good for the environment and good for consumers." I couldn't say it better myself.