May 25, 2012

Power Holdings coal-to-gas plant calls it quits over lack of investors, customers

Proponents of another so-called clean coal plant are calling it quits due to a lack of investors and a failure to find anyone interested in buying their product. The plant would have converted coal to synthetic natural gas, at prices far above actual natural gas.

Some Illinois natural gas suppliers refused to enter contracts with Power Holdings, despite facing the consequence of increased regulatory oversight. The Chicago Tribune reported on a statement from the company.

"Given the current unprecedented low price for natural gas, Aurora-based Power Holdings, like other new energy development projects, is finding capital markets hesitant to provide funding," the company said in a statement.

It's no surprise that they couldn't find new investors. Myself and local opponents told them as much back in March in news coverage about their expired EPA permit.

“It appears that this is not a serious project,” stated Will Reynolds. “This project has been seeking investors since 2007. Southern Illinois needs real clean energy jobs and not false hope from this April Fools coal plant.”

The project was proposed on the border of rural Jefferson county, which also got the good news today that their unemployment rate is dropping. Now, the area can focus on more serious job creation strategies instead of waiting on the empty promise of a coal based economy.

Power Holdings previously sent a letter to Illinois EPA requesting an extension of their construction permit. Sierra Club argues that extending an expired permit would violate the law, and as of today, IEPA has taken no action on the company's request.

This needless plant would have added harmful pollutants to the region and destroyed the rural character of a community. The announcement by Power Holdings is a victory for the environment, Illinois ratepayers, and locals trying to save their community!