The Illinois Statehouse is in full swing. So I am going to take a break here and post this relatively import piece of information. PLEASE call your representatives.
Tonight, two energy bills were voted on in the Illinois Senate. There are no additional bills related to the environment expected to be heard this week. Each of these bills previously passed the Illinois House.
Taylorville Energy Center (SB2485)
Tenaska’s Taylorville Energy Center (SB2485) has so far failed to pass the Senate following the Senate’s adjournment tonight. Outgoing State Senator Deanna Demuzio presented the bill to the Senate. Several senators expressed concerns about the increased rates to businesses. Senator Kirk Dillard explained his concerns, “When you do the mathematical analysis of this project, it doesn’t make sense.” He also expressed concern over what he called the “legal pledge that binds the state of Illinois to Tenaska for three decades” contained within the bill.
A few senators expressed concerns about the appearance of a subsidy to a particular business. Senator Don Harmon expressed concerns over the way the bill “allocates the costs and risks over what is supposed to be a competitive market.” Harmon, who stated that he would be voting for the bill, described it as a “prudent experiment on how to deal with coal in an environmentally responsible way.” Many speaking for the bill referred to the facility as a very clean way to process coal.
When the question was called, the vote was 25 voting NO, 29 voting YES and 3 voting PRESENT. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Demuzio, postponed consideration of the bill, which means that the bill can be called for a vote again. This bill failed in the House at first, but the same mechanism was used to call the vote for a question again, when it passed. The Illinois Sierra Club and several business groups opposed this legislation.
Leucadia Energy Facility
The Leucadia Energy Facility (SB3388) passed the Senate tonight and will move to the Governor’s desk for his signature. Senator Trotter introduced the bill in the Senate. Only one senator spoke about the bill in addition to the sponsor; Senator Risinger rose in support. This bill passed the Senate with 36 voting YES, 13 voting NO, and 4 voting present. View the votes here.