Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0536
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Full Text of HR0536  99th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Illinois has been a leader in energy production
3within the United States, in large part due to Illinois' vast
4coal resources; and
5    WHEREAS, Illinois has the largest recoverable bituminous
6coal reserves in the United States, a reserve base larger than
7all but 6 countries in the world, and the ability to produce
8all of America's electricity needs for 100 years or Illinois'
9power needs for 600 years at current consumption rates; and
10    WHEREAS, Illinois is the largest electricity exporter in
11the Midwest and one of the largest in the United States, and
12nearly 45% of Illinois' energy comes from coal-burning plants
13within the State; and
14    WHEREAS, Historically, the cost of electricity from coal
15has been the most economical on the basis of dollars per
16megawatt hour produced and price fluctuations for coal have
17been much less than any other fuel source; and
18    WHEREAS, Coal power plants in the United States have met
19the environmental challenges of the past 4 decades while
20meeting the low-cost energy needs of the nation, as coal used
21for electricity in the United States has increased by 165%



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1since 1970 while key emission rates have declined by 90%; and
2    WHEREAS, The Illinois coal industry is currently
3responsible for over $2,500,000,000 in annual economic
4activity within the State, including employing roughly 5,000
5miners with an average salary of $85,000 a year, higher than
6both the United States and Illinois median household incomes;
8    WHEREAS, The Illinois coal industry has faced increased
9environmental regulations in the last 2 decades that resulted
10in coal production going from 62 million tons of mined coal in
111990 to a low of 31 million tons in 2003 and a loss of 6,500
12direct jobs during this time period; and
13    WHEREAS, The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 imposed
14strict sulfur dioxide (S02) emission standards, making coal
15mined in Illinois unusable without flue gas desulfurization
16(FGD) equipment, often referred to as "scrubbers"; and
17    WHEREAS, Technology can be deployed that allows
18high-sulfur Illinois coal to be burned efficiently while
19meeting strict State and federal air emission standards;
20specifically the State of Illinois should be encouraging the
21retrofitting and use of advanced clean coal technologies such
22as flue gas desulfurization, wet electro-static precipitators



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1(wet ESPs), and oxy-combustion; and
2    WHEREAS, All of the power plants in Illinois which now burn
3Wyoming coal were originally designed for Illinois coal and the
4choice of technology was driven in part by the lack of
5certainty regarding the recovery of investments in wet
6scrubbers; and
7    WHEREAS, It is costing Illinois consumers more than
8$1,000,000,000 annually to import coal from other states,
9primarily from Wyoming, while Illinois coal is being exported
10and used in other states in power plants with scrubbers; and
11    WHEREAS, Using Illinois coal within Illinois would lead to
12substantial economic benefits by saving $1,000,000,000 in
13transportation costs and creating thousands of new jobs in
14mining and ancillary industries in currently economically
15depressed counties in central and southern Illinois and it
16would create more State and local tax revenue; and
17    WHEREAS, Using Illinois coal within Illinois benefits the
18environment as well as the economy by reducing C02 emissions
19through the use of higher rank coals and by reducing rail
20traffic by 50,000,000,000 ton-miles annually; and
21    WHEREAS, The recent growth in Illinois coal production has



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1been due to considerable new investment in the Illinois coal
2fields producing low cost coal and the retrofit of pollution
3control technology in power plants throughout the United States
4in response to changes in the Clean Air Act mandating reduced
5air emissions; and
6    WHEREAS, The switch to Illinois coal will improve the
7competitiveness of Illinois power generation as Illinois coal
8has a lower delivered cost, stable pricing, and higher heat
9content; once retrofitted with advanced technology, Illinois
10power plants fired with Illinois coal should be more
11competitive in electricity markets, thereby helping to insure
12the continued generation of competitive power for both in-state
13customers and the out-of-state electricity market; and
14    WHEREAS, Much of the State of Illinois overlays the Mount
15Simon Sandstone, a saline filled, porous, deep geological
16formation of enormous capacity that has been determined to be
17one of the most significant carbon resources in the United
18States and its development could result in expanded use of
19Illinois coal in a carbon-constrained world; and
20    WHEREAS, It is vital that Illinois coal be considered part
21of an "All of the Above" approach to energy production in order
22to keep Illinois as a leader in energy production, job
23creation, economic growth, and environmental protection;



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1therefore, be it
4urge the Illinois Commerce Commission prepare a report on the
5cost and efficiency benefits of using Illinois coal at Illinois
6coal-burning plants, including any legislative impediments and
7the impact on residential and commercial ratepayer; and be it
9    RESOLVED, That we urge the Illinois Power Agency to prepare
10a report on the effect that burning Illinois coal has on
11reliability and capacity for the Midwest region and the
12mechanisms that could be utilized to provide cost recovery of
13incremental environmental investments to generators switching
14to Illinois coal; and be it further
15    RESOLVED, That we urge the Department of Commerce and
16Economic Opportunity prepare a report on the economic benefits
17and job creation potential from switching to Illinois coal and
18the result of more coal production; and be it further
19    RESOLVED, That we urge the Illinois Environmental
20Protection Agency prepare a report on the environmental impact
21(including reduced C02 emissions) of burning Illinois coal with
22the use of flue gas desulfurization equipment, reduced rail



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1travel and associated C02 emission reductions, more efficient
2energy production as a result of Illinois coal's high energy
3density and the potential for the development of the carbon
4storage capacity of the Mount Simon Sandstone and the impact of
5bringing Illinois air emission standards in line with those of
6the federal government; and be it further
7    RESOLVED, That we urge the Illinois Department of Revenue
8to prepare a report on the impact on State and local taxes from
9Illinois power plants switching to Illinois coal; and be it
11    RESOLVED, That we urge the findings of those reports be
12presented to the General Assembly and the Governor by October
131, 2015 for consideration and appropriate action; and be it
15    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
16delivered to Governor Bruce Rauner, the Illinois Congressional
17Delegation, and all the members of the General Assembly.