Coal

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  • manar 031617SPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) has been appointed to two state boards charged with research and policy development affecting the Illinois coal industry.

    Manar said he is proud to have a greater voice in promoting Illinois coal because of its potential for job growth in central and southern Illinois.

    “While the governor goes out of his way to lure companies and good-paying jobs to Chicagoland, he has largely ignored the people who live south of Interstate 72 and their problems,” Manar said. “We could see a resurgence of Illinois coal jobs with the proper leadership, investment and policy development. I look forward to being part of the conversation.”

    Manar was appointed to the Illinois Coal Development Board, which sets and promotes a yearly agenda for research and methodologies to increase the use of Illinois coal resources. The board also advises the Office of Coal Development and the Illinois Clean Coal Institute on coal research and development policy projects.

    The 17-member board includes lawmakers of both political parties from both houses of the legislature, as well as the president of the University of Illinois, representatives of the Illinois coal industry and relevant state agencies.

    Additionally, Manar was appointed to the state’s Flue Gas Desulfurization Task Force, which was established in September under legislation that Manar sponsored. The panel will weigh the costs and benefits of using modern scrubber technology on coal-fired power plants to burn Illinois coal, as well as the cost of constructing new stacks compared to converting existing stacks at plants.

    Most Illinois coal is sold and burned out of state because of its sulfur content, which exceeds state and federal air quality standards.

    The task force will report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly and the governor.

  • manar 051016SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Andy Manar’s (D-Bunker Hill) plan to re-invest in clean coal would help jolt the industry that has endured a crippling decrease over the years.

    “The coal industry was a major source of income and jobs for the rural parts of our state. When it started to slow down, thousands of jobs were downsized and many mines were closed,” said Manar. “Investing in clean coal technology and creating a system for those companies to partner with local utility companies will give this industry a much-needed boost.”

    The plan, Senate Bill 3426, would create the Clean Coal Technology Development and Utilization Fund and call for greater investments in clean coal producers on behalf of the state. The fund would then be solely used to fund clean coal project investments by the Illinois Finance Authority.  

    In addition, the measure requires that local utility companies utilize energy created by the clean coal sites as a source of power for their customers.

    “This plan is a two-fold investment. It provides the capital to create clean coal projects, as well as the customer base to sustain the projects there afterwards,” said Manar.

    Senate Bill 3426 is currently pending in the Illinois Senate.

  • forby coalSen. Forby joined legislators from Southern Illinois on Tuesday to discuss the status of coal in Southern Illinois.

    During the press conference Forby spoke on the importance of the coal industry in Southern Illinois.

    “Coal is the number one issue we have down home. It’s good for jobs,” said Forby. “Fifty percent of our power comes from coal. Coal is not going to go away, and we the have the best coal in the state of Illinois. As much money as we spend on coal from western states, we could put scrubbers here in Southern Illinois and put people back to work. That’s why we are here today - to put people back to work.”

    For full audio of Forby’s statements click below.

  • forby coalToday, State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) stood with a bipartisan group of legislators in support of House Joint Resolution 687, which calls on the federal government to give the state additional time to review how the Draft Stream Protection Rule would affect surface coal mines in Illinois.

    The proposed rule would amend, modify or revise more than 450 provisions of the existing regulatory program. The additional time to review the over 2,000-page proposal that took six years to complete would ensure coal resources are used effectively and resourcefully.

    “In my district, we are closing everything and we don’t need to lose any more jobs,” Forby said. “Coal will be here for a while because it accounts for more than 50 percent of our state’s energy. The current proposal threatens to close coal plants in Southern Illinois, while unemployment rates are already unreasonably high. It’s getting to the point that you can’t come to Southern Illinois and work. The prisons are closing, juvenile detention centers are closing."

    "What are left to do? We need the additional time to make sure everything is done right to make sure we don’t lose any jobs.”