"Power Company Holds Off on Cleaning Up Chicago-Area Coal Plants"

"The construction permits are in and the financing is ready to go, but some of the Chicago area's biggest sources of toxic air pollution still might not be cleaned up anytime soon.

In recently filed documents, Midwest Generation signaled it might delay installing pollution controls at its six coal-fired power plants "for the maximum time available," making it more likely the aging units will keep churning out high levels of lung- and heart-damaging soot for most of the decade.

The documents, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, convey a starkly different message from public statements by Midwest Generation executives, who have pledged to make "meaningful improvements in the environmental performance of our plants."

With Republican lawmakers in Washington seeking to block tougher pollution limits proposed by the Obama administration, Midwest Generation now appears to be hedging on its next steps."

Michael Hawthorne reports for the Chicago Tribune February 21, 2011.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011