Sierra Club Statement on FutureGen Decision from the Illinois Pollution Control Board

CHICAGO –(ENEWSPF)–November 6, 2014.   Today, the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) granted a motion for summary judgement on the Sierra Club’s challenge to the FutureGen coal plant project in Meredosia, Ill. The Board’s decision would allow the project to move forward without a proper permit or pollution limits. The Sierra Club intends to appeal IPCB’s decision, as it contradicts Illinois law as well as the federal Clean Air Act. The Board also failed to provide Sierra Club with the legally required opportunity to access vital information prior to issuing its decision.

In response to today’s news, Holly Bender, Deputy Director of the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign issued the following statement:

“FutureGen has billed itself as a “near-zero” emissions coal-fired power plant, but its permit does not reflect that promise. As it’s permitted now, the FutureGen coal plant would be allowed to emit an unlimited amount of carbon pollution, and emit other dangerous pollutants at levels higher than some older traditional coal plants.
The FutureGen plant is now one of the most expensive coal plants in the entire country. Illinois citizens deserve the right to be able to hold FutureGen accountable for its costly coal project. We need the correct form of accountability so this project actually delivers what it promises to do with $1 billion in federal taxpayer dollars, and decades of Illinois ratepayer compensation.  

“As the price of clean energy plummets, Wall Street clearly has cold feet about FutureGen’s overall price tag of $1.65 billion. Smarter investments in wind energy – just one state over in Iowa – are yielding billion dollar local investments and savings of more than $200 million. That’s what smart energy investment looks like in 2014.”