9/6/2012 2:05:00 PM State should grant Ameren's request
As mayor of Robinson, I've watched our residents fight to keep their necks above water in these worsening economic times.
The working men and women of Robinson and the surrounding communities certainly don't take their jobs and livelihoods for granted.
Through all of this, Ameren Energy Resources has been a steadfast community partner. Ameren Energy Resources employs more than 150 people in our area and contributes a significant amount to our local tax base.
Simply put, our community cannot afford to lose Ameren. However, in spite of the more than $1 billion Ameren has invested to reduce pollution, the state is requiring that it spend more money to meet multi-pollutant standards. Ameren has agreed to make these upgrades, but has asked for more time because of the financial constraints brought about by the global recession will make them nearly impossible to achieve within the given timeframe.
AER wants to keep its facility open located near Newton. We need AER to keep it open as our families and local communities depend on those jobs. I urge the state to grant that request for the benefit of all southeastern Illinois residents.
Just like AER's commitment to lowering emissions, I have made a commitment to the people of Robinson to ensure the availability of public services and to always serve the well-being of my community.
Our residents have had to shoulder far too many economic hardships over the last few years, and we cannot afford another setback to our local economy. A recent setback was Ameren closing its Hutsonville facility at the end of 2011. Some employees were able to transfer to the Newton facility. Now that facility and jobs are in jeopardy.
I urge all residents to contact their state representatives, senators, and Gov. Pat Quinn. See the bottom of this page for their names and contact information.