During the past year there has been a lot of depressing news because of the battle against COVID-19 and a ton of bad news regarding the economy but, last week, the Decatur area got a real positive “shot in the arm” and it wasn’t related to being vaccinated.
ADM and 8 Rivers Capital announced their intention to make Decatur home to a game-changing zero emissions project. (Check out the full story elsewhere on this site.) If everything goes according to projected plans, construction may start as early as next year — and the facility will be operational by 2025.
According to the information released: “One of the first projects of its kind in the world, the Broadwing Clean Energy Complex would involve more than a half-billion-dollar investment into Central Illinois, building on the existing carbon storage facility at Decatur funded by ADM and the US Department of Energy. This would potentially create over a thousand direct and indirect jobs during construction along with approximately two dozen jobs for operation of the facility.”
This line really jumps off of the page: “…over a thousand direct and indirect jobs during construction along with approximately two dozen jobs for operation of the facility.”
• GAME changer — “NET Power and the Allam-Fetvedt Cycle represent a game-changing advance in the search for solutions to climate change. The technology combusts gas with oxygen, as opposed to air, and uses supercritical carbon dioxide as a working fluid to drive a turbine instead of steam. This eliminates all air emissions, including traditional pollutants and CO2, and inherently produces pipeline-quality CO2 that can be sequestered, all while operating at competitive cost and efficiency to traditional gas power plants.”
WOW!!! It’s going to happen right here in Decatur, Illinois, which means we will also be the focus of attention globally.
• CITY Councilman Bill Faber writes a twice a month sponsored column in this newspaper and uses it to express his thoughts on our community and the issues the council faces. A few days ago, Bill sent me an email with the following message: “I thought this article might be of interest. You recall that my recent article for the Decatur Tribune advocated for the creation of a stable in the inner city district.
“This NY Times article offers a good reason why it is good for the community.” The link to the article is: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/09/movies/concrete-cowboy-philadelphia-fletcher-street.html
One paragraph in the story that I found of special interest stated: “The riders pointed to many details in the movie that were true to their own experiences, chief among them that riding has proved an indispensable form of healthy recreation in an environment where gun violence and other dangers can be difficult to avoid.”
I’ve known Bill for many years and we played a lot of basketball together a couple of decades ago and I know that he certainly has a love for horses and all of his television commercials have shown him with his own horse. He believes that such a project for Decatur is a way of providing healthy recreation “in an environment where gun violence and other dangers can be difficult to avoid.” Check out the New York Times article if you get the chance. It makes a very convincing argument for what Bill has been advocating for years.
• POSITIVE MOVE — A new Michael T. Carrigan Solidarity Scholarship program will provide funding support to Macon County union members in good standing or workers with a path of entry into a union. (Check out story posted elsewhere on this site.) The new competitive scholarship program was established through an initial $10,000 workforce development grant awarded to the Decatur Trades & Labor Assembly by The Community Foundation of Macon County (CFMC). The scholarship awards must be used for the purpose of gaining meaningful employment, advancing a current career path or joining a union trades school.
Carrigan was elected to the Decatur City Council 4 times and also served as mayor pro tem during the years I served as mayor, and he was president of the Illinois AFL-CIO from 2007-2019. One thing that always impressed me about Mike’s service on the council that most people didn’t know, was that, when he had meetings in Chicago or some other place on the day of our council meetings, he would drive back to Decatur just to attend the meeting and then drive back to Chicago the next day. It would have been easy for him to tell us that he was out of town on business, but he felt it was his duty as an elected official to be present. and, he didn’t miss many council meetings during his four terms.
• I join Brian Byers on WSOY’s Byers & Co. every Thursday morning at 7:00 for the City Hall Insider as we discuss the issues impacting our city and other topics. I always enjoy the conversation.