Illinois AG's office blasts ComEd for blocking clean-coal legislation

Chris Rizo Jun. 3, 2008, 1:15pm

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline)-The office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has lashed out at Commonwealth Edison Co. for blocking legislation that would have required utilities to purchase as much as five percent of their electricity from clean-burning coal plants.

ComEd-and its parent company, Chicago-based Excelon-aggressively lobbied lawmakers to opposed the bill strongly backed by Madigan, Benjamin Weinberg, chief of the public interest division for the attorney general, said in a statement.

"Attorney General Madigan is anxious to return to the table, and hopefully this time ComEd will be negotiating in good faith," he said.

For its part, ComEd said it supports clean-burning coal plants provided they are cost-effective for ratepayers.

If enacted, the bill would have cleared the way for a 600-megawatt power plant to be built in Taylorsville, in Southern Illinois. But critics say the cost of the $2.5 billion plant would be passed to ratepayers.

"We are concerned about rushing into a potential solution without a thorough study of the expected costs, risks and benefits for our
customers," ComEd said in a statement.

ComEd had expressed concerns that the legislation would have exposed consumers to ballooning cost estimates.

The bill that failed was a scaled-back version of the plan introduced originally. As introduced, the legislation would have required utilities to buy up to a quarter of the power to be delivered to customers from clean-burning coal plants by 2025.

In addition to Madigan, the bill was supported by union groups, environmentalists, consumer advocates. However, the state's manufacturers and retailers opposed the plan.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at

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