METROPOLIS, Ill. (KFVS) - Vistra and its subsidiary, Electric Energy, Inc., has announced that the Joppa Power Plant will be retired by Sept. 1, 2022.
This will be three years earlier than first announced, and is a part of an agreement meant to settle a complaint by the Sierra Club from 2018.
“The hardest decisions we make are those that impact the dedicated men and women of our plant workforce and the local communities. In this case, we agreed to shut down the Joppa plant in light of the legal uncertainties and significant economic challenges facing the plant. First and foremost, we will work with our team members and the impacted communities to ensure a just transition, including our commitment to pay $1.1 million in incremental property taxes over three years,” chief executive officer of Vistra Curt Morgan said.
The company is pushing for the passage of the Illinois Coal to Solar and Energy Storage Act to help Vistra’s $550-million repurposing of coal plant sites across central and southern Illinois into zero emission sites.
The act will reportedly support almost 3,000 full-time jobs across the state and generate $1.7 billion in total economic output in the state.
Illinois Representative Patrick Windhorst released the following statement on the closure:
“My heart breaks for the employees of the Joppa coal fired power plant, as news was released this morning that the plant will close three years earlier than first announced. Vistra, the parent company that manages the site, has announced that it has reached an agreement with the Sierra Club, a radical environmental group that sued Vistra for violations it didn’t even make. To see the rug pulled out from under employees that had been told they would have a job for three more years than they will actually get is appalling. It is further disappointing to see another company bullied out of business by the radical Sierra Club, an environmentalist group whose goal is to eliminate the use of all fossil fuels.
“The Sierra Club and Democratic politicians throughout the country are enacting policies and filing lawsuits that are destroying the coal-fired power plants and coal mines that have provided good-paying union labor jobs and affordable home energy prices for decades in Southern Illinois. It is my hope that the people of Illinois, and the people of the United States will wake up to the agenda being pushed by the Sierra Club and Democratic politicians and realize these policies destroy jobs and wreck economies.
“Southern Illinois is blessed with abundant reserves of coal - a naturally occurring element that is used by major economies throughout the world as an affordable, reliable way to provide energy to massive numbers of people. Vistra says it supports turning the real estate at several of its properties into solar farms. Solar farms should be a part of an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy portfolio that includes the use of coal fired power plants, natural gas, and other renewable energy sources.”