CoalSPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) has been appointed to two state boards charged with research and policy development affecting the Illinois coal industry.

Manar said he is proud to have a greater voice in promoting Illinois coal because of its potential for job growth in central and southern Illinois.

“While the governor goes out of his way to lure companies and good-paying jobs to Chicagoland, he has largely ignored the people who live south of Interstate 72 and their problems,” Manar said. “We could see a resurgence of Illinois coal jobs with the proper leadership, investment and policy development. I look forward to being part of the conversation.”

Manar was appointed to the Illinois Coal Development Board, which sets and promotes a yearly agenda for research and methodologies to increase the use of Illinois coal resources. The board also advises the Office of Coal Development and the Illinois Clean Coal Institute on coal research and development policy projects.

The 17-member board includes lawmakers of both political parties from both houses of the legislature, as well as the president of the University of Illinois, representatives of the Illinois coal industry and relevant state agencies.

Additionally, Manar was appointed to the state’s Flue Gas Desulfurization Task Force, which was established in September under legislation that Manar sponsored. The panel will weigh the costs and benefits of using modern scrubber technology on coal-fired power plants to burn Illinois coal, as well as the cost of constructing new stacks compared to converting existing stacks at plants.

Most Illinois coal is sold and burned out of state because of its sulfur content, which exceeds state and federal air quality standards.

The task force will report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly and the governor.

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