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Quinn signs bill for Chicago coal-to-gas plant

Illinois' governor on Wednesday is paving the way for the state to get its first coal-to-gas plant in Chicago.

The $3 billion plant is set to be built on a former industrial site on the city's southeast side. The so-called "coal gasification" plant will turn Illinois coal and refinery waste into a natural gas substitute, without having to burn the coal.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn originally vetoed the project, saying it would jack up consumer energy prices. But he says the new plan has been revamped.

"Natural gas that's gonna be produced here will be purchased by our four major natural gas companies," Quinn said. "And there are rate caps to protect consumers."

Quinn defended the project as a clean way to meet the state's energy needs. Some environmental groups had criticized plans for the coal-to-gas plant, saying it would add pollution to an already polluted area. The project still needs regulatory approval before construction begins.

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