Quinn vetoes coal-to-gas power plants

March 14, 2011

Associated Press

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed bills allowing construction of two coal-to-gas plants that had angered environmentalists and consumer advocates.

The bills would have allowed a $3 billion coal gasification plant on Chicago's southeast side and a $1 billion outfit in Jefferson County in southern Illinois. Utility companies would have been required to buy synthetic natural gas from the plants for a decade or more.

But critics said the synthetic natural gas made from coal and refining waste would cost more than natural gas and be passed onto consumers. Quinn acknowledged that in his veto messages.

He says "our investments in clean coal must not come at the expense of consumers."

Environmentalists feared pollution caused by coal gasification.