Hastings, Manar tour downstate coal facility


KINCAID – A pair of Democratic state senators toured a downstate coal plant Wednesday to get a better picture of Illinois’ energy community.

State Senator Michael E. Hastings, the Illinois Senate’s new chairman of the Committee on Energy and Public Utilities, toured the Kincaid Power Station with State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), whose district includes the station.

Hastings said such visits help put his role as energy committee chairman into perspective.

“I’m a firm believer that the only way to make responsible and educated decisions is to go out to these communities and tour these facilities to ensure we craft policies that modernize and safeguard Illinois’ energy security,” he said.

“As the new energy chairman, I’m eager to learn more and gain a complete picture on how the energy decisions we make in Springfield impact communities across our state.”

The Kincaid Power Station is operated by 144 employees, many of whom reside throughout Christian and Sangamon counties. The plant pays about $17 million annually in wages and benefits that support workers and their families.

“This tour is the first step in our partnership to fight to protect these power plants that serve as a vital economic asset in our communities and throughout the state of Illinois,” Manar said. “The coal industry has played an important role in the economic development of our communities, and we plan to keep it that way.”

Manar, a champion of downstate workers, facilitated the tour of the Kincaid plant to assist Hastings in his effort to better understand the state’s energy community. Specifically, Manar stressed the importance of power plants to his 48th Senate District, noting they support hundreds of jobs and generate billions of dollars in economic activity in downstate Illinois.

“Our state’s energy community has done a tremendous job ensuring Illinois has a competitive edge in our global economy,” Hastings said. “I look forward to coming up with policies to move us forward while protecting workers like those at the Kincaid Power Station.” 

Manar had similar sentiments.

“I’m proud to show off the great work the employees at the Kincaid Power Plant do every day to help ensure the lights stay on in homes across Illinois,” Manar said.

Hastings and Manar also plan to visit the Coffeen Power Station in the coming weeks.