April 1, 2015 – by IEEFA.org. Editor’s note: Valley Watch spent the greater part of two years in the middle of the last decade trying to inform various municipal electric utilities throughout the midwest that they would end up in trouble if they bought into the nefarious Prairie State Generating Station. Unfortunately, for reasons mainly connected to a combination of greed and naivete, they refused to listen, opting instead to place their economic futures in the hands of Peabody Energy and the head of the Indiana Municipal Power Agency who were promoting the plant as a means to get supposed cheap energy. Had they listened and acted on what Valley Watch was telling them, they would not have found themselves in the dire straits we predicted a decade ago.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch picks up the latest Prairie State Energy Campus story in an overnight piece distributed nationally via McClatchy News Service.
The article, by Jacob Barker, describes the lawsuit filed earlier this month by the town of Hermann, Mo., which is seeking to end its ties to the overpriced, underperforming coal-fired plant. Parker notes also that “Peabody and the other backers” still argue that Prairie State will one day produce reliable, affordable electricity, a stance Hermann Mayor Tom Shabel says in the Post-Dispatch article is not credible: “I don’t believe that anybody with an IQ above their shoe size believes that for a New York minute.”
Barker notes that Hermann “isn’t the first to complain of electricity prices that turned out to be much higher than what was pitched.” Batavia, Ill, has sued Indiana’s public power agency and Marceline, Mo., was able to get out of its contract in 2013 after threatening legal action.
- “‘We tried to negotiate with them,’Shabel said. ‘It was destroying the city, this relationship. We’ve lost close to $1 million in the last year. … The only way you can negotiate with MoPEP or MJMEUC is to have some sort of club over their head.’”
- “Originally pitched by St. Louis-based Peabody Energy, the coal company has since reduced its stake in the power plant and adjacent mine complex to 5 percent. The rest is owned by public power agencies, including those in Missouri and Illinois, whose members are on the hook for power purchases.”