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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2001

Governor Calls Legislative Leaders to Coal Summit

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today called the four legislative leaders to a Legislator Coal Summit on May 2, 2001 to discuss legislation for affordable coal generation in a framework that addresses statewide energy needs.

Governor Ryan sent a letter to Senate President James "Pate" Philip, R-Wood Dale; Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, Senate Democrat Leader Emil Jones D-Chicago, and House Republican Leader Lee A. Daniels R-Elmhurst, inviting them and representatives of their caucuses to participate in the summit.

"In order for the State of Illinois to thrive in the new business economy, we must have an adequate supply of safe, reliable, reasonably priced and environmentally sound power and energy," said Governor Ryan. "In Illinois, we need to ensure that coal is a dominant fuel for electricity generation in the future, and is utilized in an environmentally friendly way."

Several Legislators have proposed legislation on different energy issues. Ryan hopes that this summit will create a consensus on the legislation so that Illinois' energy needs are served.

"I have been asked by Leader Daniels to bring the leadership of all four legislative caucuses together to facilitate the development of a bi-partisan legislative package on this issue for consideration this session," said Governor Ryan. "Recent developments in the United States, from electricity blackouts in other states, to high natural gas and gasoline prices, have hit home and serve as a call to action for this state."

While in Washington this week, Governor Ryan met with U.S.Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham to discuss energy issues that face Illinois consumers, including President Bush's commitment to spend $2 billion in clean coal technology during his first term.

Illinois has more than 200 years worth of coal reserves and the governor has allocated $93 million over the last two years to the development of environmentally friendly ways of burning Illinois coal to produce energy. Right now, 54 percent of the electricity produced in Illinois is generated by coal-fired power plants. The governor wants federal rules and regulations to balance environmental protection with a greater ability to use Illinois coal in the nation's energy future.

Governor Ryan appointed an energy cabinet to develop a comprehensive energy policy and strategy to determine how to meet Illinois' needs. The Illinois policy will cover issues concerning efficiency and conservation, safety, environmental protection, sources of power, distribution, renewable supplies, competition and affordability.

To assist in the discussion over a state energy policy, the Energy Cabinet released an education and discussion document entitled "Preparing an Energy Policy for the State of Illinois" that condenses all of the various issues that the Cabinet believes will form the basis of the statewide policy.

April 27, 2001

The Honorable Pate Philip
Senate President
50 East Oak Street - Suite 250
Addison, IL 60101-2848

Dear President Philip:

In order for the State of Illinois to thrive in the new business economy, we must have an adequate supply of safe, reliable, reasonably priced and environmentally sound power and energy. We must also have a solid infrastructure that enables power and energy resources to be delivered to Illinois citizens. Recent developments in the United States, from electricity blackouts in other states, to high natural gas and gasoline prices, have hit home and serve as a call to action for this State.

In addition to my appointment of an Energy Cabinet and efforts to develop an energy policy for the State of Illinois, a number of legislators have proposed legislation addressing the demand, generation, and transmission of energy in this State. Much of the legislation has focused specifically on encouraging an expanded role for coal in our energy future. This focus is certainly in keeping with President Bush's commitment to invest over $2 billion in clean coal technology during his first term in office. I wholeheartedly agree that in Illinois, we need to ensure that coal is a dominant fuel for electricity generation in the future, and is utilized in an environmentally friendly way.

I have been asked by Leader Daniels to bring the leadership of all four legislative caucuses together to facilitate the development of a bi-partisan legislative package on this issue for consideration this session. I believe this to be an important undertaking and ask you to join me at the Executive Mansion on May 2, 2001 from 9:00am to 11:00am. In order for me to facilitate a productive meeting, I ask that each caucus designate no more than three legislative members to attend. I will have senior members of my cabinet present to assist with any technical information that may be needed, but envision the dialogue exchange to be among the legislative members and me. My Director of Legislative Affairs, Mike Madigan, and my Senior Advisor for Environment and Natural Resources, Renee Cipriano, will be following up shortly with a detailed agenda. Please also confirm the names of your caucus representatives and staff with Mike's assistant, Sarah Tadla, at 217-782-6871.

I look forward to a very productive meeting.

Sincerely,

GEORGE H. RYAN
Governor of Illinois

cc:Senate Minority Leader Emil Jones, Jr.
Speaker of the House Michael Madigan
House Minority Leader Lee Daniels



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