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Chicago Tribune: Taylorville’s Not Ready

Tuesday, Nov 30, 2010

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

Chicago Tribune: Taylorville’s Not Ready
November 29, 2010


Dirty and dangerous, coal has a hard time making friends. The proposal for a Taylorville Energy Center in central Illinois isn’t helping.

You might think the Taylorville plan would be winning popularity contests all around the state: This wouldn’t be a typical coal plant, of the sort that provides roughly half of America’s electricity today. This would be a “clean” operation, using cutting-edge technology to reduce hazardous emissions, while taking advantage of the state’s abundant coal supplies. We have supported the idea of “clean coal,” with the caveat that it has to provide power at a reasonable cost to ratepayers. That is, there has to be the prospect that it can genuinely compete in the marketplace.

Taylorville has not met that test. The General Assembly should not give its approval to the $3.52 billion project.

As currently envisioned, Taylorville amounts to an extremely expensive and speculative bet on a long-term payoff that may never materialize. The one guarantee: It will hike the cost of electricity in Illinois for a long time.

A proposal going to the legislature would cap the rate increases paid by residential customers at 2 percent. But that would leave business and government to pay the rest of the increased costs, without the protection of a rate cap. Click here to continue reading.

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