Thursday, June 11, 2015

Stalled Illinois Electric Utility Legislation Portends Summer Woes

            Political wrangling over the issue whether nuclear plants should get the same “clean energy” preferences now provided for wind and solar power in the state, and the prospect of a $2.00 per month increase in electric bills to consumers have delayed efforts to provide rate relief that could keep Commonwealth Edison’s six aging nuclear generation plants on line for many more years, save the jobs of thousands of nuclear plant employees, and help Illinois meet carbon emission reduction goals.

            Opponents of the various solutions now on the legislative agenda say that proposed peak demand billing to residential customers is a corporate bailout for Com Ed, rather than an incentive to increasing energy efficiency in the state. Meanwhile, the issue is complicated by super majority voting requirements resulting from the Illinois Legislature’s failure to resolve balanced budget issues during the regular session which closed at the end of May.

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