To the Editor:
Recent reactions to the proposal to build a natural gas fueled power plant in Grundy County were generally enthusiastic. Unfortunately, one aspect of the proposal was universally ignored. Power plants that burn fossil fuels, including natural gas, are the top producer of
carbon pollution that negatively impacts public health, degrades air quality and contributes to changes in our global climate.
Natural gas power plants are touted as good for the environment, but the reality is they still produce about 60 percent of the carbon dioxide pollution as a conventional coal power plant. In the case of the proposed plant in Grundy County, that would amount to over 1.3 million pounds or over 650 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. That amounts to over 52,000 pounds of pollution for every new job created.
While a diverse energy sector is beneficial to our economy, we also need to move forward to reduce, rather than increase carbon emissions. Illinois’ nuclear power plants, which produce almost half of our electricity, and our growing wind and solar generation, make Illinois the leading producer of carbon-free electricity in the United States. We need to think hard about making moves backwards by increasing, rather than reducing our carbon output.
Doug O'Brien, Illinois Clean Energy Coalition