Governor Rauner, Exelon Generation and ComEd Reach Accord on Historic Energy Bill

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For the second time in two weeks, the House Energy Committee on Tuesday gave its initial OK to a proposal from Exelon, which said it will take official steps toward shutting down the Clinton plant if the General Assembly doesn't pass a bill before its fall veto session wraps up Thursday. The amendment further enhances consumer protections and provides for an overall cost cap to limit rate increases to all residential and business customers.

The bill supports boosting the IL economy, preserving 4,200 jobs at Exelon's Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plants, while creating thousands of new clean energy jobs. On the other side of the coin with the closing down of these #nuclear plants an even heavier loss of jobs would be seen, as well as a big increase in IL consumer electric bills and an increase in air pollution.

In June, Exelon said it would close the Clinton plant on June 1, 2017, and Quad Cities, on June 1, 2018. Bob Rita, D-Blue Island, for bringing together energy companies, environmental groups, business interests and consumer advocates in an attempt to reach a compromise. The Committee voted 10 to 1 approve the measure. The latest version of the bill, introduced on November 15, contained tweaks that further enraged its opponents and drew the ire of environmental groups that had supported the bill in its original form.

"That savings is key to ensuring all the bill's benefits come without increase to consumer energy bills", said Nick Magrisso of the NRDC.

As of Wednesday afternoon, however, a promised fourth amendment to the bill, incorporating technical changes as well as those requested by Rauner, had not been introduced.

For the first four years of the Exelon legislation, Nelson said, bills for Ameren customers should drop. Despite an overall lower price tag, because of changes in the bill's structure, Exelon's legislation will now result in at least 44,000 jobs being lost through 2030, while slashing economic output in IL by $14.7 billion and reducing state and local government tax revenue by $429 million.

"Government-mandated energy standards, such as the low carbon portfolio standard, artificially manipulate the energy market and force citizens to pay more than they would in a free market for electricity", said Matthew Glans, senior policy analyst with The Heartland Institute. The companys Constellation business unit provides energy products and services to approximately 2.5 million residential, public sector and business customers, including more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100.

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