On November 3, Batavia City Council unanimously approved a resolution calling on the Illinois Attorney General to investigate Peabody Energy’s sales process of the Prairie State coal plant. City Council made this request in response to citizens’ concerns about the environmental and financial risks associated with Batavia’s long-term power purchasing agreement with the coal plant.
The Prairie State coal plant, located in Marissa, Illinois, is the largest point source of carbon pollution built in the last 25 years in the U.S. Peabody Energy, who built the plant starting in 2007, failed to entice private investors, who questioned the feasibility of profitably burning Illinois coal. Instead, Peabody Energy sold more than 200+ municipalities take-or-pay contracts to purchase the electricity for the next 30+ years. This transfered all the financial liability from Peabody Energy (who ultimately profited from this sale), to small municipalities.
In the past year, electricity prices from the coal plant have far exceeded the projected costs that Peabody marketed to municipalities. Citizens across the Midwest impacted by these costs are demanding accountability.
In Batavia, Illinois, a coalition led by the Sierra Club worked to put grassroots pressure on Batavia City Council. Citizens collected more than 1,000 citizen petitions and more than 40 business petitions in support of asking for an investigation.
Sierra Club applauds Batavia City Council, the Mayor, and City Staff for taking this important step forward, and thanks all of our coalition partners and volunteers for their leadership and commitment!