Southern Illinois lawmakers rally around pro-coal bill - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois lawmakers rally around pro-coal bill

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WSIL  -- Southern Illinois lawmakers say they stand united in putting Illinois coal back into action.

Representative John Bradley introduced a bill on Tuesday that would allow the Illinois coal industry to be relevant again. Other area lawmakers support the bill, including Rep. Terri Bryant, Rep. Jerry Costello Jr., and Sen. Gary Forby.

They say our region depends on Illinois coal for good paying jobs and to drive our economy.

"The main thing it does is get us in the discussion. The second thing it does is creative an incentive program with the ICC to put scrubbers on the existing coal fire facilities that we have and of which are in jeopardy of closing," says Bradley.

The Illinois Commerce Commission balances the interests of consumers and utility services.

Bradley says, at this point, the bill would allow the ICC to come up with its own incentives for the coal scrubber program.

Proposed Illinois Energy and Environmental Security Act: 
•    Requires Illinois utilities to have purchasing agreements with clean-coal burning facilities, with a goal of those agreements representing at least 40 percent of their retail customer load starting in 2020
•    Authorizes the Illinois Commerce Commission to devise a way to pay for "scrubbers" that allow Illinois coal-fired power plants to burn Illinois coal cleanly
•    Allows the state of Illinois to purchase and sell Illinois coal to generating facilities if it chooses


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