Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to approve an energy deal on behalf of Exelon. Without it, the power company says it will close nuclear plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities.
Exelon says there are about 1,500 workers between the two plants, plus thousands of other local jobs that would be affected. Vice President David Fine says the average ComEd residential customer would see her bill go up by less than 25 cents a month over the 10 years of the deal. "And in the first couple years," Fine says, "we anticipate there'll actually be a savings — a rate decrease."
But Julie Vahling of AARP says this is "possibly one of the largest utility rate hikes" in American history. "The billions in profits that Exelon and Commonwealth Edison continue to report are reason enough that consumers should not be asked to bail these successful corporations out."
Also opposed to the proposal are energy-intensive industries such as chemical and manufacturing plants. They say it would jack up their costs, undercutting an advantage to operating in Illinois.