LITCHFIELD- State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) has issued the following statement regarding the decision by Vistra Energy to close four Illinois power plants:
“Today we see the effects of a democratic governor and democratic supermajorities who prioritize a radical environmental agenda over affordable energy and good-paying jobs. During his campaign, Governor Pritzker promised to completely eradicate coal and this is the first step. I’m disappointed that the Pritzker administration forced Vistra to close 40% of their downstate fleet of power plants. This is another example of Illinois’ job-killing environment. The closure of Coffeen’s coal plants is devastating to our local economy and the closure of all four plants will mean downstate Illinois loses production of affordable and reliable energy.
This was a decision made to fulfill a campaign promise. The obligation is on Governor Pritzker and his Administration to have a transition plan that ensures employment for all employees at the Coffeen plant and protects the property tax base of Montgomery County.
I pledge to work with community leaders, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Vistra to make sure there is job training and placements for the workers impacted. And, I will work to find a way to repurpose the plant site to maintain the property tax base of Montgomery County. “
Rep. Bourne has created for constituents a local resource page for job retraining and lay-off recovery here.