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Lawmakers promote Illinois coal

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Downstate legislators are banding together in an effort to revive the market for Illinois coal.  It comes as the renewable and nuclear industries are asking for legislative intervention.

Representative Jerry Costello, a Democrat from St. Clair County, stood alongside Republicans in calling for a comprehensive approach on energy.

"The main thing that we want to make sure is that coal - Illinois coal - has a seat at the table while these discussions are ongoing."

Costello and the other pro-coal lawmakers appear open to where those talks go.  An early concept seeks to have Illinois coal plants outfitted with air pollution control devices.

It doesn't require it, or include a way to pay for the "scrubbers.” Rather, it calls for state regulators to find a funding mechanism.  The proposal also requires Illinois utilities to make it a goal to buy more coal in-state.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.