Friday, July 6, 2012
Opponents say Synthetic Gas Plant Too Expensive
Illinois business and environmental groups Thursday panned a coal gasification project slated for construction in Chicago. They argue that the plant, which would turn coal and other carbon fuels into natural gas and trap emissions underground, would result in rate increases for customers statewide.
In July 2011, Gov. Pat Quinn approved a plan to build the plant on a polluted brownfield site on the southeast side of Chicago. Construction on the plant, which would be owned by Leucadia National Corp., is scheduled to begin in 2015.
Business groups say that if they project is completed, customers of both utilities would end up with higher bills. “If this project goes forward, the residents of Illinois, particularly in the Nicor and Ameren territories, are going to have to pay for natural gas at considerably higher prices,” said Mark Biel, executive director of the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois.
Supporters of the plant say it would bring jobs to an economically depressed area. Opponents argue that the recent boom in natural gas production aided by hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, has led to plentiful cheap gas, and there is no need to create gas synthetically. “The dynamics have changed dramatically in the last two years with regards to natural gas availability,” said Biel.
You can read Jamey's full report at: http://illinoisissuesblog.blogspot.com/2012/07/opponents-say-leucadia-power-plant.html
In the pic: A coal-to-gas plant similar to the proposed Leucadia project