The lack of coverage of the Pollution Control Board hearing in Peoria is disappointing. Dynegy, a Texas-based company, has asked the Illinois EPA to change the Multi-Pollutant Standard (MPS). This puts cities like Peoria at risk for increased air pollution and becoming a pollution hotspot.
2017 had 16 natural disasters resulting in a record-setting $306 billion in losses. 195 countries took direct action to reduce their carbon emissions. Illinois should be following suit; not giving corporations, like Dynegy, a pass to double the pollution put into our air. We should be divesting from fossil fuels not keeping them afloat with backroom deals.
Governor Rauner’s Illinois EPA worked behind closed doors on this change which amounts to a bailout. We should be working on a just transition taking care of coal plant employees and providing cleanup of plant sites. Instead, Dynegy seeks to squeeze more profits from an industry that makes us sick and jeopardizes the planet’s future.
If approved, this would allow Dynegy’s dirtiest coal plants, like the one in Bartonville, to run even more. Peoria is already overburdened with many coal plants and other pollution sources. This is an environmental justice concern because those harmed the most by pollution are often those least able to deal with it.
There are no jobs on a dead planet. We need clean jobs for a healthy planet. The Pollution Control Board should reject this bailout attempt. I urge all readers to speak out against more pollution in our community.
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