As reported in the Chicago Tribune, 8/17/15 and Daily Herald, 8/18/15, a Chicago judge dismissed the lawsuit filed by Batavia citizens intended to get Batavia out of a 30 yr contract that could end up costing Batavia citizens an estimated $19+ million in overcharges for electricity.
The Batavia City Council signed a contract in 2007 that made Batavia, through NIMPA (a power purchasing aggregate formed with Geneva and Rochelle), part owners of the Prairie State coal-fired power plant. The judge said that the Batavia citizens had no standing to file the suit. From the Tribune:
“A primary defect in Plaintiffs’ complaint is the failure to allege a relationship between Plaintiffs and any of the Defendants that would give rise to a duty to convey accurate information to the Plaintiffs,” the opinion states. “Plaintiffs allege that IMPA, ISC, and Rao made negligent misrepresentations about PSEC directly to NIMPA, to Batavia, or to both (but not to the Plaintiffs themselves).”
Put simply, the Batavia City Council and NIMPA signed the contracts, so only the Batavia City Council and/or NIMPA can file a lawsuit. Never mind that citizens must pay the bills–they have no standing.
So it appears that the best hope for Batavia citizens to get out from under this crushing contract is to enlist the aid of the Batavia City Council and/or NIMPA in a lawsuit. Please contact the City Council and respectfully ask for their help. (Please keep in mind that the majority of the current City Council were not on the Council in 2007 when the contracts were signed.)
What are our other options? Well, Hermann, Missouri has filed a lawsuit against its power agency. Let’s hope Batavia can find a way out without having to resort to citizens suing the City and/or NIMPA.