SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Nov. 29, 2011 — Today’s Senate vote approving SB 678 promises to leave Illinoisans paying at least $286 million in annual costs for the next 30 years to pay for the Taylorville Energy Center, a power plant that Illinois doesn’t need. If passed by the House and signed by the Governor, this tremendous cost would devastate Illinois’ economy, destroying jobs and sending businesses elsewhere.
Kevin Wright, former Illinois Commerce Commissioner and President of the Illinois Competitive Energy Association, cited the costs that Tenaska, an out-of-state energy company, would pass on to Illinoisconsumers to build the Taylorville Energy Center.
“According to Tenaska’s own report, this project would cost Illinois electricity customers at least $286 million per year, and after today’s vote, Tenaska is one step closer to getting their way,” said Wright. “When this issue comes up next year, I hope the House will do what the Senate wouldn’t and stick up forIllinois consumers by rejecting this bill.”
In addition to the cost alone, this legislation would lock Illinois businesses, families, and government agencies into a 30-year contract, undermining Illinois’ competitive energy market and damaging our economy.
“This bill forces Illinois businesses to subsidize an out-of-state company and leaves them exposed to a huge cost burden in the event of budget overruns, which are almost inevitable,” said David Vite, President of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. “It will make it harder for our businesses to keep and create jobs and signal ‘Look elsewhere’ to businesses outside our state looking to expand or relocate.”
Three times previously, the General Assembly voted against the Taylorville Energy Center, amending and adding to the legislation to win votes. Greg Baise, President and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, discussed the legislation and called on the House to reject SB 678 next year.
“This is a massive electric rate hike on Illinois residents and businesses during the worst economic time in our generation,” said Baise. Members of the STOP Coalition are urging the House to stand up for Illinoisconsumers and reject this legislation next year.