December 01, 2010

Big Coal Looks to Lame Duck Springfield For Bailouts - Funded by Rate Hikes

With state legislators in Springfield for a lame-duck veto session, two large corporations are making a power play for longterm, sweetheart deals that would bail out two risky projects that appear to be floundering due to their staggering cost and the massive increases in pollution they would create.

The out-of-state companies are seeking billions of dollars in subsidies from Illinois businesses and residential ratepayers. Each company is lobbying the lame-duck session for its own version of special interest legislation, althought the two proposals share a common principle - forcing Illinoisans to buy their product at far higher than market prices, at the same time increasing air pollution.

The Illinois House approved both bills Tuesday, and today they move to the Illinois Senate:

SB 2485 - Tenaska's $9 Billion Rate Hike Request
· This bill would force all Illinois electricity consumers to pay at least $286 million more for electricity annually.

· A wind farm the size of the Taylorville Energy Center would create up to 7500 job years in installation and manufacturing - at substantially lower cost. Source: Wind Manufacturing Supply Chain Report (2010— ELPC)

· While Tenaska claims they will be capturing a portion of their global warming pollution, this number is not reflecting their entire carbon footprint. (A significant portion of the CO2 will not be captured, but emitted by Tenaska’s customers.)
SB3388 - Ratepayer Subsidies For Leucadia's Dirty Gas:
· Getting natural gas from coal and hazardous refinery waste is far dirtier than the natural gas we use to heat our homes.

· Gas customers should not be locked in to buying gas for 30 years from a company that has not even applied for an IEPA permit.

· Leucadia claims they will capture 85% of their global warming pollution but this is only a portion of the total CO2 they will emit. A significant portion of the CO2 will not be captured, but emitted when Leucadia’s customers burn the gas.

Let's hope the Senate doesn't railroad these bailouts through - contact your State Senator today and urge them to vote no on bailouts for Tenaska and Leucadia.