Ask attorney general to probe energy deal
We are concerned that the confidentiality terms, which are legal, set up the purchase of Prairie State Energy make it impossible for us to see where our public moneys are going. Asking for an Illinois Attorney General investigation would merely allow some new eyes to look at the situation. Was our investment on the up and up by the Peabody Coal Company?
Peabody could not sell this coal commercially. Corporations knew that this coal was substandard. Peabody invented a new way to sell the coal. Peabody would sell the coal, the liability, and the environmental problems to communities across at least six states.
When the coal ash blows into the faces of the residents of Washington County, Illinois; when workers and residents get sick; when the EPA says clean up your CO2 emission; Peabody, who now only owns only 5 percent of Prairie State Energy has shared their liability with the U.S. taxpayers. If this was such a good deal why didn't Peabody want to build the plant itself and sell the energy on the open market?
We are all in this together. We do not feel that our city councils were negligent or ignorantly bamboozled. If the attorney general says that nothing was wrong with Peabody's promised clean coal, super-efficient, affordable energy deal, we have lost nothing; we already pay our Illinois attorney general. An investigation would put our citizens at ease, knowing that their aldermen are representing us and the future of our communities.
I urge the citizens of Batavia, Geneva, and Rochelle to write to their aldermen and let them know that we wish for an Attorney General's investigation to see if Peabody made good on its promises.
Jeannie C. Scown