Vistra Energy has announced that they have come to a legal settlement to retire the Edwards Power Station at the end of 2022. Edwards is located just south of Bartonville. This closure is the work of far-left groups who will stop at nothing to see good jobs ripped from our communities and our taxing bodies (like school districts) decimated. While they will tell you that “retraining” will save these jobs and this revenue to our schools, the fact is that converting these plants from coal to solar will result in a 90% reduction in jobs and a 60% reduction in property tax revenues. This leaves the rest of our community to bear even more of the load of increased need for social programs and a higher property tax burden. These groups, who may feel like they have good intentions, are driving the bus in a true race to the bottom. Don’t get me wrong, wind and solar power are a part of our future, but these solutions are not ready to fill our power needs 24/7/365. Additionally, the significant impact to our communities must be fully understood and mitigated.
As for the people and families who will eventually lose these jobs that they depend on, my thoughts are with you. As with the employees of Duck Creek, I am committed to ensuring that the $8.5 million dollars that Vistra is paying as a part of this settlement will benefit you as you seek education or other employment in this or other industries. The taxing bodies, especially the school districts impacted, also have my full support as they navigate a uncertain future.