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Latino State News

“Clean Coal” Proposal Being Tied to Minority Student Scholarship Vote in Springfield

A Nebraska-based company, along with supportive legislators, is looking to get approval for a project, which would bring a “clean coal” plant to Taylorville, putting up millions of dollars for scholarships for minority students.

Tenaska, Inc., out of Omaha, is hoping to gain support for its proposal by agreeing to set up a $30-million foundation for disadvantaged minority students in need of financial support for college.

The foundation would of course only be set up if the proposal is approved.

In an interview with Crain’s Chicago Business, Tenaska’s Vice-president Bart Ford said the idea for the foundation came after African-American and Latino legislators asked how the a plant in Taylorville, which is predominantly white, would be of any benefit to their minority constituents.

The foundation’s board would include prominent minority leaders, though no one has been named yet.

According to Craine:

The establishment of the foundation, which would provide $1 million in college and vocational-school scholarships to minorities annually for the 30 years Illinois consumers would have to buy the output from Tenaska’s plant, will be overseen by politically connected minority Chicago law firm Neal & Leroy LLC, Mr. Ford said. At least 75% of the scholarship money would go to disadvantaged African-Americans under the agreement.