Ill. Sen. Refuses to Classify Tire Burning as “Renewable Energy”
A bill proposal that tire burning should be classified as renewable energy which passed through the Illinois House on Tuesday was rejected by the State Senate yesterday.
The Senate voted against the bill by a 26-17 margin.
“That is not renewable energy,” said Sen. Don Harmon, (D). “I think this is a backwards step.”
Geneva Energy, a tire burning facility in Ford Heights Illinois drew sufficient support from representatives in the House to put the bill up for the Senate vote. Had the bill passed in the Senate, the company would have been eligible for State grants, low-interest loans and additional incentives.
Bill sponsor Sen. Mike Jacobs, (D), claimed that the wind and solar companies lobbied against the effort because they want to corner the green energy market.
The irony of a bill proposal that Geneva Energy should receive “green” benefits is that the company has been cited four times since 2006 for air pollution. Additionally, the U.S. EPA is investigating whether Illinois violated environmental justice laws by permitting the incinerator to operate in a small village where more than 95 percent of the population is black and half live in poverty.
Senator James Meeks (D) defended the bill claiming that absent a classification change, the company may leave Ford Heights, which is “the last thing” the impoverished community needs. The tire burning plant is sited within Sen. Meeks’ district.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn declined to take any position on the bill.