Exelon

Illinois Issues: State Marches Toward Clean Energy

May 22, 2017
Dylan Blake

Even as a landmark clean-energy plan unravels in Washington, D.C., Illinois is on track to meet the coal emissions-reduction goals it set.

For Dulce Ortiz, the Clean Power Plan was a long-awaited victory.

For years, Ortiz and fellow environmental activists had been trying to get rid of the coal-fired power plant in their hometown of Waukegan. Yet pleas to the energy company, to Waukegan’s mayor, and to Illinois energy regulators all had proven unsuccessful.

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You can’t see the Clinton nuclear plant from Clinton. It’s located nine miles out of town. But Clinton felt the impact when Exelon said the plant might close.

They felt it at The Shack, a Clinton diner that’s been serving up hamburgers and hand-packed milkshakes for nearly a century.

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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner frequently talks about the need to grow the state's economy. However, manufacturers say the energy law he signed yesterday will make it harder for them to compete.

The law requires residential and business customers to pay a subsidy to Exelon so they can  keep nuclear power plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities open. 

Mark Denzler of the Illinois Manufacturer's Association says the hike in electric rates will cost some of his members millions of dollars per year.

A plan intended to keep two nuclear power plants operating and save thousands of Illinois jobs is on its way to Gov. Bruce Rauner.
 
The Senate voted 32-18 to approve the plan Thursday night just an hour after it got House approval 63-38.
 
The measure provides $235 million a year to Exelon Corp. for 13 years. Exelon counts it as a subsidy for nuclear power producing no gases harmful to the
atmosphere.
 
It allows unprofitable nuclear plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities to stay open.
 

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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."

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