Close the Prairie State coal plant, Illinois’ biggest source of carbon pollution

Taxpayers in those towns will have to bear the brunt. That’s a shame, but it pales in comparison to the dire consequences of turning our back on climate change.

SHARE Close the Prairie State coal plant, Illinois’ biggest source of carbon pollution
The Prairie State coal plant

The Prairie State coal plant would shut down under a proposal being considered in Springfield that environmental groups support. But municipalities, including some in the Chicago area, that have long-term deals to buy electricity from Prairie State could end up being hit with higher prices even as they’re still on the hook to pay off bonds they issued to buy in to the plant.

Provided

I read the June 4 article about how an Illinois energy bill has stalled over the demand from some legislators to close the Prairie State coal plant, Illinois’ biggest source of carbon pollution.

Our state, our country and our world have run out of time to confront climate change. There are only two paths ahead of us now: start ramping down fossil fuels at once, or hand our children a world where they will face unfathomable environmental and economic calamities. Of course, closing one power plant in Illinois will not solve global warming on its own. That’s the diabolical nature of this challenge: it takes concerted efforts by nations and states, most of whom want to blame each other. But if we have any chance to avoid a worldwide economic calamity, no excuses or finger-pointing can be tolerated.

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Of course, none of the Chicago area municipalities who signed onto a bad deal with Prairie State years ago want to admit their mistake. That’s human nature, especially for politicians. But when I read that the debate was not over closing Prairie State tomorrow, next year or the year after that, but in 14 years, I could scarcely believe it. Fourteen years!

And the plant doesn’t even guarantee cheap electricity for the ratepayers. The four towns who signed the deal are on the hook for the debt associated with the plant’s construction. That was a devil’s bargain. Private investors who make bad bets are generally forced to accept the consequences. Now electricity consumers or taxpayers in those towns whose elected officials signed onto the deal will have to bear the brunt of that error. That’s a shame, but it pales in comparison to the dire consequences of turning our back on climate change. The Prairie State plant should, indeed must, be closed.

Rick Knight, research coordinator at Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Brookfield

Maskless Anthony Rizzo

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And then he has a press conference and tells the world that he has not been vaccinated. How is this right on any level?Is it because he is a famous baseball player that it seems to be OK?Millions of people who are still on the fence about being vaccinated are avid fans of Rizzo and will follow his lead.

The COVID guideline is simple. If you are not vaccinated, wear a mask. I would think that the Chicago Cubs organization would have any unvaccinated players follow the very simple rule.

Aleta Bruettig, Tinley Park

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Here’s a thought: If Republicans had popular policy ideas, they wouldn’t have to block people from voting.

Bob Chimis, Elmwood Park

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