Stop the Tenaska $8.6B Rate Increase on Businesses
Stop Tenaska’s $8.6B Rate Increase on Consumers, Governments and Businesses!
In the next few weeks the Illinois General Assembly will be debating and most likely deciding an issue that is of paramount importance to all Illinois businesses. At issue is whether to green-light the construction of a power plant in Taylorville, IL; proposed by Omaha-based Tenaska, Inc.
Normally, a decision by a private investor to build a power plan doesn’t require legislative approval. But in this case, Tenaska has said it won’t build the plant unless a state law is enacted that requires Illinois consumers to buy the plant’s power-at above market prices-for the next 30 years. The ICC calculated that this would mean an annual average of $286 million in over-market subsidies from electricity customers. This is a 30-year total of $8.6 billion in higher electricity rates.
Enormous burden on the Illinois economy and consumers
• In the best case scenario, Tenaska’s proposal would force all Illinois consumers to pay at least $286 million more for electricity annually than they would otherwise. (That’s $8.6 billion in rate increases over 30 years!)
• Residential and small business customers will pay up to $142 million in rate increases annually. All other businesses, governmental units and non-profits will pay the remaining project costs, including all cost overruns, with no limit on their rate increases.
• On top of that, this is only if the plant comes in on-budget and on-time! Indiana ratepayers already face $990 million in cost overruns from a similar plant since it was first approved. Three states and an international energy company have rejected Tenaska-like plants as too costly and risky.
A “jobs program” that actually kills jobs • This Tenaska Plant would cause the loss of ten times more jobs than it creates!
• Statewide, between 15,000 to 35,000 jobs could be lost as a result of higher electricity rates that impose hundreds of millions of added costs on Illinois employers.
• Even Tenaska’s promises of 2,500 temporary construction jobs and “hundreds” of permanent jobs is suspect. A must larger plant under construction produced only half that many jobs.
Shattering Illinois’ competitive electric market
Forcing Illinois’ 41 certified retail electric suppliers to enter into 30-year contracts for above-market wholesale power, along with potential costs overruns, would kill Illinois’ competitive retail electric market, recognized as one of the most successful in the country.
No one hopes more than we do that cleaner coal plants find the technological, economic and environmental sweet spot to make them viable in our state. Ultimately we believe it will happen.
But we object to a mandate to buy their product for 30 years at above-market costs and with all the risk shifted on business consumers instead of the investors of the plant.
The time is now to make your voice heard on the Tenaska/Taylorville Energy Center!
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