Letter To The Editor: Time To Close Prairie State Energy Campus

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The August issue of Illinois Country Living asks readers “use your voice” to delay closure of  Prairie State Energy Campus (PSEC) coal plant, Illinois biggest carbon emitter. The reasons given are not correct and are based on invalid assumptions.  

Around 2007, communities in the Midwest seemed convinced that coal-fired PSEC was the way to get inexpensive energy even with a massive construction debt.  Peabody Coal Company convinced regulatory agencies to approve the necessary permits needed to develop this project.  Soon after production of energy from PSEC, litigation began concerning promises made versus product delivered. 

I am very thankful to my electric cooperative, Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative (RECC) for its business decisions based on product facts, not speculative promises.  RECC is not locked into a long-term contract for high-priced, dirty energy from PSEC.

Illinois must transition from coal while providing support for coal communities and workers.  No wonder that the Governor’s clean energy legislation before Illinois lawmakers is a concern to the supporters of PSEC.  

PSEC is a mistake that many communities are burdened with, but the state should and could rectify its misguided attempt to support the claim of cheap coal-energy with new clean energy legislation.

This article in the “Use Your Voice” section is a misguided effort.  For Illinois, to delay closure would be a step backward and no help to coal communities.  One mistake, establishing PSEC, does not justify another mistake of continuing its pollution and damage to communities. 

Mary Ellen DeClue

Litchfield

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