Report: Power Plant Owner Could Abandon lllinois

CHICAGO (CBS) — A published report says the Midwest Generation power company may leave Illinois altogether after closing two of its old coal-fired plants in Chicago.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Pat Cassidy reports, Midwest Generation plans to close its two coal-fired in the city – the Fisk Plant, at 1111 W. Cermak Rd. in the Pilsen neighborhood, and the Crawford Plant at 3501 S. Pulaski Rd. in the Little Village neighborhood.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Pat Cassidy reports

The owner of the plants, Midwest Generation, reached a deal with Mayor Rahm Emanuel to close the plants earlier than expected. Fisk will close by the end of the year, and Crawford will shut down by the end of 2014.

Environmental activists have been blaming the power plants for polluting the air with hazardous chemicals and known carcinogens.

The health effects caused by the soot, or particulate matter, spewed from the plants ranges far beyond those neighborhoods, increasing cases of asthma, chronic bronchitis, and more. Mayor Emanuel had campaigned on closing the plants.

But Crain’s Chicago Business reports the closure of the two plants will mean the loss of 170 jobs. Another 160 jobs may be lost if Midwest Generation closes its plant in Waukegan in 2014, Crain’s reported.

That would leave three larger facilities, in Romeoville, Joliet, and downstate Pekin. But those plants need some $628 million in upgrades to comply with environmental laws, Crain’s reported.

Meanwhile, Midwest Generation reported $270 million in losses last year because wholesale power prices have dropped to the point where it cannot turn a profit, Crain’s reported. For those reasons, Crain’s reports, the possibility exists that MidwestGen’s parent company, Rosemead, Calif.-based Edison International, will abandon Illinois altogether.

The company says it will need to divest assets if the power pricing crisis continues, Crain’s reports.

If all of Midwest Generation’s plants in Illinois close, 1,050 jobs would be lost, Crain’s reported. Also, power prices – and by extension, your electric bill, could go up, the newspaper reported.

  • Marisol

    The Pilsen and Little Village neighborhood were not benefiting economically because of the power plants, practically nobody who works in those plants even live in the neighborhoods where the plants are. As a matter of fact, they were paying a high price as a result. Who cares about Cranes business, who ONLY note the monerary losses of these companies, and like always, never realize the HIDDEN costs these plants place on the public who have the burden of financing the costs (that run in the billions of dollars) each year to treat the health problems and losses of lives. I am soooooo happy the people of Chicago have been heard and I congratulate all the politicians who finally did the right thing after the hard and arduous campaigning of all the organizations and people that fought to close these plants. I remember when many (even the “experts”) thought the closing of these plants was not feasible. These plants didnt even produce electricity for the communities they were in. Diversify electricity now or pay the price in the not so distant future.

    • Matt

      Of coarse your statements are incorrect as always. But you won, I hope that in a year from now asthma rates are down, but i guarantee that will not be the case, the mercury levels you site are false, Fisk was at 40 lbs per year, but that will not change your brain damage, and the electricity made by Fisk defeinitely went towards mantainting voltge levels in the city, without it you may see brown outs or blackouts this summer. Political activism and factual accurism never make good partners.

    • Jack

      I agree. However, let’s be clear. The people in the neighborhoods where these plants are pay little if any of the costs. Most are low-life publio aid recipeints who don’t pay for their food, medical, education, housing etc. Many have jobs, but don’t pay taxes. Further, many are here illegally.

  • Bill S

    These plants out here in Joliet belch smoke disguised as steam. The yellow trails they leave in the sky are sickening.

    • Matt

      You simply are an idiot.

      • Bill S


        Yes, I am an idiot. sorry.

  • franz

    Hey don’t forget about all the other jobs illinois will be losing-all the medical professionals who treat the respitory problems, and cancers, due to the chemicals that rain down

    Also all the special ed teachers needed to teach the kids with the learning disabilities

  • frank

    Illinois is losing population anyway. As the population goes down, so will the jobs. If you don’t love it, leave it.

  • Matt


    • Matt


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