Jan. 15, 2018 – State Journal Register – Illinois Chamber of Commerce supports pragmatic change to environmental regulations
Every Illinois family, business and manufacturer benefits from access to reliable, efficiently produced power. Over the past several months, the state of Illinois has been considering a rule proposed by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency that would reduce overall allowable emissions and enact a new statewide cap from several power plants throughout central and southern Illinois.
This change is needed and provides substantial environmental and economic benefits for the state of Illinois.
The current state standards were created in 2006 when several plants were owned by separate entities, but now they are all owned by Dynegy. The patchwork regulatory structure means that plants operated by the same company and located near each other have different regulatory compliance requirements — a less efficient way to produce energy.
The rules, known as the multi-pollutant standard, are important and help ensure that the energy we rely on for our everyday lives is produced in an environmentally responsible manner. These measures, along with other decrees and laws, have helped to greatly reduce emissions, to the point that Illinois is home to some of the nation’s cleanest coal power plants.
More than $2 billion has been invested in emission-limiting controls at these plants during the past 20 years. As a result, sulfur dioxide emissions have been reduced 90 percent, along with significant reductions in other emissions.