Macomb – Today, Vistra Energy announced their intention to retire four coal-fired power plants in Illinois by the end of the year, including the power plant in Havana. The announcement comes after the Illinois Pollution Control Board ordered Vistra to retire 2,000 MW of their coal-fired power plants in Illinois by 2020.
“I’m deeply disappointed in the decision to force the closure of the Havana coal plant,” said Rep. Hammond. “This was a political decision that was entirely avoidable. While I intend to do everything possible to support the workers and communities impacted, I also call on Governor Pritzker’s Administration to release a plan to ensure the job security of the plant employees and local property tax base in Mason County.”
The Havana Power Plant employs approximately 75 employees and produces 434 MW of power. The plant has been in operation since 1978. The plant is also a major contributor to the property tax base in Havana and Mason County. If the plant closes at the end of the year without a plan to repurpose, area schools and local governments will be forced to cut their services, or local homeowners and small businesses will see their property tax bills increase. Either action will be devastating to the local economy.
“Without action to mitigate the impact, this will be a heavy blow to plant workers and their families, local schools, and the area economy,” Hammond continued. “With the plant’s closure imminently approaching, I will work with state agencies, community leaders, and Vistra Energy to ensure a smooth transition for the employees and continuity of services from local units of government. I want the employees of the Havana plant to know that my office is open to them, and I will do anything I can to ensure that they have access to all state and local services to ensure employment and retraining opportunities are available to them.”
Rep. Hammond has posted a list of state and local resource resources for job retraining and layoff on her website. The list will be periodically updated. To see the list, visit www.norinehammond.org/opportunities-for-displaced-workers/