Friday, September 4, 2015

Stalled Progress On Representative Tryon’s Low Carbon Electricity Bill Threatens Shutdown Of Exelon’s Quad Cities Reactors

Huntley’s 66th District Representative Mike Tryon, Chief Co-Sponsor of HB 3293, Low Carbon Energy Portfolio, and Co-Sponsor of the companion legislation HB 2607, Renewable Resource Procurement, has been blocked by the state’s ongoing budget stalemate from wrestling either measure out of the House Rules Committee and onto the House Floor. As a consequence, Commonwealth Edison’s parent company Exelon must decide by October 1 whether or not to shutter its two reactor nuclear generating facility along the Mississippi River at Cordova, Illinois, known as the “Quad Cities” plant. Exelon must either agree to shut down the reactors after May 2017, or continue operating the facility through at least 2019.

Passage of the legislation would result in electric rate increases throughout the northern Illinois areas served by Commonwealth Edison, increasing costs for construction businesses using electric power to perform their work. On the other hand, shuttering the Quad Cities plant would significantly reduce generating capacity in the state, which could mean future difficulties for contractors and developers needing more power as their businesses grow and development in northern Illinois continues to expand. This is just one example of the barriers to businesses planning for their futures which our embattled politicians in Springfield seem unable to avoid as they struggle to please their base constituencies rather than solve our state’s difficult problems.
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