Opponents of a power plant proposed for the south-east side of Chicago say pending legislation would force natural gas rates to soar for suburban and downstate customers. Brian Mackey has more:
The Leucadia Energy plant would convert coal into natural gas. But the low price of natural gas is getting in the way.
Legislation awating action by the governor would attempt to solve that problem by forcing natural gas utilities Ameren and Nicor to purchase from the plant at artificially high prices.
Critics say those companies will just pass those costs on to their Downstate and suburban customers, both businesses and residential.
Mark Denzler is with the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. He says the average homeowner will see —
DENZLER: “— about $170 to $190 per year in additional cost for natural gas.”
But Hoyt Hudson, who’s with the Leucadia subsidiary trying to get the plant built, says it’s a way for Illinois to get clean energy —
HUDSON: “— using local jobs, local resources, and creating a massive, $3-billion investment in our state.”
Environmentalists dispute whether coal-gasification is any cleaner than traditional coal-burning power plants.
— Brian Mackey