PEORIA -- From a news release (at least Obama is doing something right):
Global Warming Solutions Group Hails Obama Climate Action Plan and Asks for Help Transitioning Central Illinois to Renewables
The Global Warming Solutions Group of Central Illinois believes it is imperative to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit climate disruption and its effect on future generations. We are proud to be a member of the Central Illinois Healthy Community Alliance, a grassroots group calling for a cleanup or orderly phase-out of the Edwards coal-fired power plant in Bartonville, Illinois. The most recent USEPA figures show the Edwards plant to be responsible for emitting 5.51 million tons of CO2 annually. This is a staggering number, slightly more than the annual emissions of the 942,691 passenger cars in all the counties bordering I-74 as it cuts across Central Illinois—from the Quad Cities in Scott County, Iowa through Galesburg, Peoria, Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana to Danville (see the attached Behind the Numbers for details).
We applaud President Obama for taking action on this critical issue. His plan announced today calls for tough new rules to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants. Ameren, the Edwards plant’s current owner, and Dynegy, its proposed buyer, have both publicly stated that variances from health-based standards for currently regulated pollutants are essential because they cannot afford to install the necessary pollution controls. Rather than beginning another cycle of challenging new regulations and then petitioning for variances and extensions, Global Warming Solutions Group asks Ameren and Dynegy to look realistically at the future of the Edwards plant and, in light of the forthcoming CO2 regulations, begin planning now for its closure. By working with stakeholders here in the community, we believe it is possible to justly transition the workers to new employment, minimize disruption to the tax base and leave the site in a state suitable for redevelopment.
President Obama’s plan promises to unlock long-term investment in clean energy innovation by increasing funding for clean energy research, development and deployment by 30 percent in the FY14 budget, including a new $8 billion loan guarantee program. Global Warming Solutions Groups calls on local policymakers to begin positioning the Edwards site, with its wealth of multi-modal transportation links and existing connectivity to the power grid, as the ideal candidate for renewable energy investment. The President’s plan specifically points to methane gas, a more potent greenhouse gas pollutant than CO2, as a key target. Global Warming Solutions Group believes that Central Illinois, with abundant agricultural and food processing wastes and little diversion of organic wastes from local landfills, might have sufficient input stock for a large-scale anaerobic digestion facility. If such a facility were to replace the Edwards coal plant, it could eliminate CO2 emissions from burning coal and reduce area methane emissions at the same time by converting climate-altering methane into gas for electricity generation or liquid fuel.
Illinois has already demonstrated its strong support for alternatives to dirty
coal. With the results from the aggregation ballot initiatives in April 2013,
for Municipal Energy Choice reports that the Central and Southern Illinois
buying block, one of the largest aggregation blocks in the U.S., encompasses
residential customers in over 600,000 households in 151 communities including
Peoria, East Peoria, Pekin, Bloomington, Normal, Urbana and Danville. The vast
majority of these communities have opted to purchase 100% green energy. It’s
time to take the necessary steps to leverage the President’s climate plan and
begin working to replace coal with renewables right here in our own backyard.
For more information on the Global Warming Solutions Group of Central Illinois, visit www.gwsolutionsgroup.org or contact Tracy Meints Fox, 309-369-5331 or email@example.com.