An effort in Springfield to overhaul Illinois’ clean-energy law to jump-start stalled renewable power projects in the state is dead for this legislative session.
The initiative — pursued for more than a year by environmentalists who say the state’s law to require more of the power consumed here to come from clean sources is broken — has stalled. So says state Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, who has led the negotiations over the issue.
He confirmed the effort died after Exelon Corp., by far the most influential energy industry player in Illinois, threatened earlier this year to close two or three of its six nuclear power plants in the state due in part to subsidized wind farms that it says are dampening power prices and making some of its nukes unprofitable.
The issue, he said, “caused everyone to take a step back.”
* Not long after that story appeared, I received this press release from Speaker Madigan’s office…
A coalition of regional labor leaders, public officials and Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan have won assurances from Exelon to maintain operations at three Illinois facilities for 12 months
“I am happy to confirm that our efforts to preserve jobs in the Quad Cities and Clinton have been successful. The outcome is the result of a concerted effort by labor leaders and elected officials to ensure these families will continue on the job,” Madigan explained.
“When published accounts triggered speculation Exelon might alter operations, I went to work with others to ensure these working families would not be threatened. Today we can report success,” Madigan.
Shifting electricity usage and marketing patterns apparently triggered the speculation and led to discussions that produced the assurances to Madigan.
The Speaker also cited the willingness of Exelon CEO and President Chris Crane to discuss Exelon’s operations and publicly assure the government and labor leaders of the company’s plan. Exelon operates 11 nuclear reactors in six locations. More than 5,300 persons are employed at the facilities.