The Tenaska Tax
SB 678 (a.k.a “the Tenaska Bill”) would force ratepayers and businesses to underwrite a coal gasification plant in Taylorville Illinois that would produce dirty, unnecessary, and expensive power. Illinois EPA estimates the plant may add over 10 billion pounds of pollution per year and finds that the pollution controls proposed in SB678 are not commercially available.
According to the Illinois Commerce Commission, “The cost associated with electricity generated by the TEC is substantially higher than that which is associated with other types of generation facilities”. Tenaska is lobbying to force Illinois ratepayers to buy 100% of the output from a plant that has rates significantly higher than any other form of electricity for 30 years.
If the Tenaska tax is approved, a single out of state company will benefit while organizations and hundreds of other deserving entities are left in the dark because they lack the lobbying power of Big Coal. In addition to the 30 year Tenaska Tax they want you to pay on your electric bill, Tenaska has their hand out to the taxpayers asking for loan guarantees and subsidies to the tune of $3.5 billion.
What We’re Doing
As residents of Illinois and, for some of us, Illinois taxpayers, this issue remains relevant to UCAN and many other students across Illinois. In partnership with the Sierra Club, we have participated in phone baking, petition deliveries, and direct/indirect lobbying on this tax.
Riding off our succesful campaign to close the Fisk and Crawford Coal Plants through the CPO, we are confident that by increasing awareness and making our voices heard to our representatives we can prevent this plant from ever being built – before it pollutes air and lungs across Illinois.
If you’d like to get involved in the campaign, you can send a message to your representatives, or contact Ross Carstens, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to get involved.