Quinn Vetoes Plan For Coal Gasification Plant

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS/WBBM) — Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed a bill that would have authorized the construction of a coal gasification plant on the Chicago’s Southeast Side.

The bill passed by state legislators would have required utilities to buy synthetic gas from the proposed new plant for 30 years. New York-based developer Leucadia National would have constructed the plant at 116th Street and Burley Avenue – the site of the old Republic Steel plant.

Quinn vetoed the bill on Monday.

Hoyt Hudson of Eco-Industrial Development, which is behind the plant, said earlier this year that the planned facility would turn dirty coal into clean synthetic natural gas.

But residents of the Southeast Side did not agree with the “clean” part, and are concerned about the potential health effects of gasifying coal and pet coke – the toxic waste generated by refining tar sands. They say Leucadia is planning the facility in “a densely populated area already struggling with the health and economic ramifications of heavy pollution.”

With the plan now off the table, Phil Gonet of the Illinois Coal Association says the is sitting on 200 billion tons of coal, which makes it, by far, the state’s most reliable source of power now and in the future.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Alex Degman reports

He says for that reason, the state must continue to invest in coal.

“About 47 percent of the state’s power comes from coal,” Gonet said. “You can put up all the windmills you want, and it’s not going to replace coal.”

The bill would also have authorized a new coal plant in Jefferson County in Southern Illinois.

  • southside

    OMG…Quinn actually did the RIGHT thing! This plant would have driven up our electricity costs because it would have been forced to buy expensive synthetic gas. I am stunned Quinn could get something right. Stop the spending, Pat.

  • Dan

    Yeah Sure Quinn did the right thing, but for the right reason? Probably a political ploy to get something or get back at someone.

    Quinn has proven himself to be just another politician like the rest of them and I sure don’t see him trying to cut spending anywhere at least not where it counts. Doubt this is over, it will resurface again.

  • GO Southside


  • JIM

    The State is going to do what they have to get our money. Why not just come up with one tax to get all our money .

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