Geneva, Illinois – Kane County’s Per Capita Leader in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The City of Geneva Hires Lobbyist to Protect Its Status as a Leading CO2 Emitter and Completely Ignores Settler’s Hill and Midway Landfills’ Fugitive Methane (86 times more powerful than CO2 when it comes to global warming).

Today the Illinois Governor announced Rebuild Illinois grants totaling $106,000,000 to 50 fifty Illinois cities and villages. The Illinois grants are matched with Federal funds. The City of Aledo (population less than four thousand) will receive a grant of $6 million for “Roadway & streetscape improvements, including public plazas.” Geneva is not among the 50 recipients. Maybe Geneva needs a better lobbyist in Springfield, plus one in Washington, or none at all.

A year ago this month the City of Geneva (by a 7-1 vote, Swanson was the demurrer) agreed to a $78,000 contract with a lobbyist.


Among the services to be provided were:

“Assist the City of Geneva in continuing to strengthen, maintain, and further engage with members of the Illinois Legislature, Governor’s Office, and other State Governmental bodies and authorities.”

“Work directly with City of Geneva officials and State of Illinois officials on mitigation proposals to reduce hardship potentially caused by new State energy policy.”

So as far as getting any of the $212 million in Build Illinois money to help get the long-stalled (since 2007) East Side Corridor started, the $78,000 “assist” netted zero. And Route 38 (State Street) is an Illinois State Highway and Designated Truck Route.

Woodstock is getting $6mil to rehab its Opera House. Apparently, the Governor is more fond of Woodstock groundhogs than Geneva’s lobbyist-backed chipmunks. Geneva’s historic Wrate Building has a crumbling foundation, and the Mill Race Inn site is as blighted as they come.

But the Mayor and the City Council spend their time looking for ways to give away local tax dollars through TIFs and LIHTCs, not looking for ways to get back some Geneva tax dollars from the state and feds. Then they fund consultants for charettes and for lobbying. Is it time for a reboot?

Even more ominous than the above for Genevan’s future budgets is the failure to rescue the largest Illinois CO2 emitter, Prairie State Power. Geneva has a long-term “take or pay” contract with this electric power disaster. Illinois’ Clean Energy Future Awaits Gov. Pritzker Signature ( Governor went out of his way to disclaim any sympathy for the suckers like Geneva (northern Illinois denizens have been called suckers since the 1820s) who bought into PS.

Somehow “JLD’s” (the lobbyist) “regular reports” that are required by the Ordinance 2021-66 have not made it onto a single City of Geneva Agenda for discussion. Only the invoices show up with monotonous regularity in a search of the City website.

Environmental Integrity EPA Underestimates Greenhouse Gas Emissions from U.S. Landfills by at Least 25 Percent

Meanwhile, Geneva pretends it does not have a landfill problem. This is even so after the groundwater east of Kirk Road recently became unpotable from 1-4 dioxane leaking from the landfills. (City of Geneva water has been provided to this area, but apparently, without requiring sewer hookup – have you looked at your City water/sewer bill?) But 1-4 dioxane is just a flea bite.

Settlers Hill has a methane capture system that generates electricity. Midway Landfill to the east (where the golf course is) has no liner or cap. Fugitive landfill methane is a major contributor to global warming. Until recently the magnitude of the landfill methane problem was underestimated. Geneva cannot solve this problem alone. However, Geneva’s legacy should not be “They fiddled while the world burned.”

3 thoughts on “Geneva, Illinois – Kane County’s Per Capita Leader in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  1. In re Methane. I do not understand why scientists cannot agree on a single multiple for methane versus CO2 (carbon dioxide). Is it 86 times worse? 120 times worse? 35 times? Whatever it is, science tells that the methane gas deteriorates in months – but then it converts to carbon dioxide, thus contributing to global warming as a feedback loop. .

    It does seem that a hired lobbyist, who cannot get state and/or federal funds from the new bounty being supplied by recent legislation, is worse than no lobbyist at all – because they are being paid, but for what?


  2. Hi Tom,
    Methane, the primary component of natural gas, has shown up a little late to the global warming debate. Its half-life in the atmosphere is shorter than CO2. So its “effect” magnitude must be viewed in a specified period. For example, methane has about eighty times the warming power of CO2 over the first twenty years after it reaches the atmosphere. Methane accounts for about 20% of the greenhouse gas warming effect. A significant reduction in methane now will have a near-term effect on reducing global warming. Landfills account for about 15% of methane in the atmosphere, the oil and gas industry itself and cows account for about 30% each of fugitive methane. Settlers Hill/Midway is not the worst methane polluter and methane production does decline over time. Ten years ago, methane was found in monitoring wells in Batavia, likely from Midway. Settlers Hill electricity production is falling meaning the “low hanging” methane that is most easily captured is diminishing. This does not mean that fugitive methane is decreasing at the same. rate. Geneva’s mistake in investing long-term in coal-based electric power is compounded by its landfills. By providing cheap dump sites close to Illinois’ largest population center, Geneva contributed to the delay in finding alternatives.
    Thanks for your interest and insights.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s