Metro-East News

Planned Wood River Power Station layoffs to begin soon

Tobias Wall
Tobias Wall

The planned retirement of Dynegy’s Wood River Power Station in Alton is set to begin June 24.

The retirement was announced in November 2015.

According to a layoff notice filed with the Illinois WorkNet Center, 83 employees would be permanently let go in rounds of layoffs that will last through mid-July. The employees are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 51, based in Springfield.

A poor economy was listed on the notice as the reason the plant will retire. The plant’s old age also comes into play: The two generating units there went online in 1954 and 1964, respectively.

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Leaders in Fairmont City and Madison are pondering their respective towns’ futures now that a shift in landfill usage has one town out earning the other in terms of revenue generated from dumping garbage in city limits.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Madison — home to Waste Management’s North Milam landfill — now earns significantly more in landfill use fees than does Fairmont City, home to the original Milam. The original dump is full, and Waste Management now carts garbage to the newer site.

Fairmont City had earned as much as $90,000 a month in the fees, but now hauls in around $53,000 as part of a revenue sharing agreement meant to soften the blow of the transition to the North Milam site. Madison, which had received nothing from anyone until early 2014, tallied $574,644 in fees in 2015.

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John Oliver, host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, forgave nearly $15 million in medical debt bought up by a company he created.

The move was part of Oliver’s Sunday show, in which he examined the world of debt collection and debt purchases.

Oliver’s company Central Asset Recovery Professionals bought up the debt, which totaled $14,922,261.76, for a mere $60,000. Around 9,000 people were listed as owing the debt. But instead of acting to recover the debt, Oliver wrote it all off.

Central Asset Recovery Professionals, by the way, spells out CARP.

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Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil company Aramco wants to go public, and it has analysts worried.

The research firm Bernstein concluded that taking Aramco public could make it the most valuable company on the planet. If that happens, and the company grows like Bernstein worries it will, it could squeeze out smaller players in the oil game. That in turn could add to volatility in an already volatile market.

But it might not all be bad news. According to Bernstein: “We assume that Aramco will pick their timing to ensure that listing occurs in an environment of stable but favorable oil prices. This implies that in the near term we should not expect Saudi to ‘flood the market’ with oil as some have suggested.”

Currently, historic low in fuel prices are due to oil-producing nations not agreeing to limit production, which has created a supply of oil that outpaces global demand.

Tobias Wall: 618-239-2501, @Wall_BND

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