Sen. McClure attributes state's loss of $500M ethanol plant to Democrats' 'playing up to unions'
Judging from the latest policy legislation coming out of Springfield, state Sen. Steve McClure (R-Springfield) is convinced that Illinois has become its own worst enemy.
“I’m real upset by what has happened,” McClure told Metro East Sun, referring to the news that Marquis Energy has decided against building a $500 million ethanol plant in Scott County. “Part of the district doesn’t get a lot of growth and this was going to do that for Scott County and the state of Illinois as a whole. It boggles my mind that the senate is looking to pass a bill that doesn't allow any of that to happen.”
In deciding against expansion in the state, Marquis, which already operates plants in Illinois and Wisconsin that produce more than 500 million gallons of ethanol each year, cited Senate Bill 1407 as a prime reason for its decision.
“Illinois government’s anti-business and high tax policies will require us to pursue company expansions in surrounding states,” CEO Mark Marquis said in a statement. “SB 1407 is an example of legislation that will negatively impact our company’s expansion plans — removing our company’s choice in construction contractors we hire and the agreed upon price between the two parties, reducing competition and inflating costs,”
With that, the Hennepin-based company’s plans to erect the 800-acre plant near Bluffs by 2020 went up in smoke, leaving McClure fuming about the entire episode.
“The markets say this bill will make it impossible to build here because it creates a threshold for paying a lot more money to do the things you need to upgrade and operate,” he said. “It makes no sense to be dissuading businesses from coming here by charging them all these excesses.”
McClure said it’s all just another example of how Springfield has lost its way.
“It’s obvious that Democrats want to curry favor with certain special interest groups,” he said. “They have their eyes set on making those people happy instead of doing what is best for the state. Without question, this time it’s the unions they’re playing up to.”