Virginia Consumers Fleeced by Peabody’s Expensive, Dirty Coal Power

Virginia Consumers Fleeced by Peabody’s Expensive, Dirty Coal Power

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Prairie State Energy CampusSome Virginia communities like Danville bought into Peabody Energy’s promise of cheap coal-fired power – and now as the project’s pricetag balloons to $5 billion they’re paying for it big time:

Coal giant Peabody Energy promoted the controversial Prairie State Energy Campus to public officials in Virginia and seven other states as a cheap, long-term source of “clean coal” power.

But a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) charges that the troubled coal-fired power plant and coal mine operation will end up costing cities and towns in Virginia up to 100 percent more for that power than what was promised.

The Prairie State Energy Campus is a 1,600-megawatt, coal-fired electrical power station and coal mine under construction near Marissa, Illinois, less than 50 miles from St. Louis. About 95 percent of the project is being financed by more than 200 local government units in eight states: Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and West Virginia.

“Clean coal” was always a myth and its death sealed the coal industry’s fate. But just as it was with tobacco, Virginia remains filled with apologists who know it’s easier to say what people want to hear and cash industry checks than to speak the truth. And Democrats like Tim Kaine and Mark Warner are just as much a part of the problem as Republicans – they may vote the right way sometimes, but their pro-industry rhetoric supports the bipartisan smokescreen that hides the truth that cigarettes cause cancer coal-fired power plants are deadly, expensive, and outdated.