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Today’s number: $1.6 billion

Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I kinda get a kick out it when advertisers pummel each other

A plan to financially reward Exelon Corp. for producing no-carbon energy and potentially save three Illinois nuclear plants from closure would cost ratepayers $1.6 billion over five years and strain budgets for financially strapped businesses and municipal governments, a study released Tuesday found. […]

Consumers would have to pony up more for electric bills and face higher tax bills from local governments absorbing higher costs, BEST Coalition Director Dave Lundy, accompanied by representatives of AARP, told a state Capitol news conference. […]

Exelon wants its Illinois distributors ComEd and Ameren to buy clean-energy “credits”— subsidies — as an incentive similar to perks granted to solar and wind power and other clean-energy producers. Without the help, Exelon says it might have to close nuclear plants in Byron, the Quad Cities and Clinton. […]

Exelon spokesman Paul Elsberg said the company hadn’t reviewed the study, but pointed to a state-commissioned review issued in January that determined if the three nuclear plants closed, it would cost Illinois up to $1.8 billion a year in economic activity, 8,000 jobs, and more than $1 billion in adverse economic and environmental costs, higher energy prices and new transmission lines. A decision to close the plants would dwarf the cost of the incentive, Elsberg said.

* Tribune

Chicago Public Schools would pay nearly $7 million more, while the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District would see another $8.3 million on its electricity bills over the 5-1/2 years the proposed measure would be in force, the study said. […]

Employing usage data from a 2012 Exelon-funded study in opposition to a proposed coal gasification power plant downstate, Kestler applied the potential impact of the low-carbon legislation on a number of governmental agencies and municipalities over the lifetime of the measure.

Electric bills would go up $3.3 million for Cook County, $6.8 million for the state of Illinois and $5.4 million for the CTA, the study showed.

“These are huge dollar figures at a time when every single entity of government is struggling just to balance its books now,” Lundy said.

Chicago-based Exelon had a net income of $1.62 billion on revenue of $27.4 billion last year. That is down from a net income of $1.72 billion in 2013.

…Adding… From a press release…

Today hundreds of Illinoisans rallied for clean energy and climate action at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. The citizens were joined at the rally by many legislators who are co-sponsoring the bipartisan Illinois Clean Jobs Bill (HB 2607/SB1485).

Last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced the Clean Power Plan, giving states the opportunity to create plans to cut carbon pollution and grow clean energy jobs. With energy policy taking center stage this year in the General Assembly, the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill has emerged as the only bill that can protect the consumers and the environment while creating an estimated 32,000 jobs annually.

“The Illinois Clean Jobs bill has the most grassroots and legislative support of any energy-related bill pending in the General Assembly this year,” said State Senator Don Harmon. “And the news for consumers and clean energy keeps getting better: the state’s leading watchdog for utility customers - Citizen’s Utility Board - found that the Illinois Clean Jobs bill will save people a total $1.6 billion by 2030.”

The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill will strengthen policies to ramp up renewable energy like wind and solar to 35 percent by 2030 and cut energy use through efficiency by 20 percent by 2025. These efforts will save consumers money while bringing clean energy investment to new communities to strengthen local tax bases and create family-sustaining jobs.

“When we talk about power, it’s more than solar power or wind power,” said Pastor Booker Vance of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church and Faith in Place. “It’s about empowering people and empowering families. That’s why we must raise our voices not simply today—but every single day until the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill becomes law.”

I support the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill because I see it as an unprecedented opportunity to address the needs of the Illinois economy, a top priority for the people I represent in Central Illinois,” said State Senator Dave Koehler. “The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill also benefits the environment and the legacy we pass down to our children and grandchildren.”

Last week, two leading organizations - Citizens Utility Board and Union of Concerned Scientists - independently concluded that the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill would save customers billions of dollars, in stark contrast to two other pieces of energy-related legislation now pending in Springfield. As the state’s leading utility watchdog said this week, the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill is the only piece of legislation that would lead to customer savings.


  1. - Liberty - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:14 pm:

    What happened to deregulation? Buy from CWLP, they could use a few more customers.

  2. - Anon - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    Please help me understand this.

    If Exelon increased rates, couldn’t energy customers throughout Illinois choose a non-Exelon company with lower electricity rates as their supplier of electricity?

  3. - DuPage Moderate - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:19 pm:

    Rich, I’ve been thinking this for a while, but I wish you’d format your pages so that it’s more clear just which articles are advertisements and which are your own content. I know you have a line at the top, but I’ve sometimes missed that. If you formatted it in a different color or type face, it would be harder to miss. Thanks for your excellent reporting!

  4. - Juice - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:24 pm:

    DuPage, by making the advertising look different as you suggest, it becomes less valuable (because you are more likely to skip it). If it loses it’s value, Rich loses revenue. If Rich loses revenue, Oscar the Puppy has to go without food for a week. Why do you hate Oscar the Puppy?

  5. - A guy - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:30 pm:

    ===* I kinda get a kick out it when advertisers pummel each other…====

    Sure is tough to be more honest than this. lol

  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:30 pm:

    DM, please stop hating on Oscar.


  7. - BEST Dave - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:35 pm:


    Unfortunately the subsidy in the Exelon case would be charged to all ComEd and Ameren customers, so choosing a different supplier would not allow you to escape their bailout.

    And yes Rich, we know how much you get a kick out of it! As Harry Truman once said, we just tell the truth and they think it’s hell.

  8. - Juice - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:41 pm:

    And Anon, in all seriousness, the problem is consumers don’t have a ton of easy options in purchasing electricity. We are typically required to purchase from a distributor (ComEd) who purchases power from a variety electricity generators, namely Exelon. But building the resources necessary to generate electricity has a ton of upfront expenses, which keeps people from entering the market, so it is not truly competitive. But as luck would have it, we can be thankful that ComEd is there to make those economic decisions for us, since they are a completely separate entity from Exelon. Completely separate.

  9. - connor - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:51 pm:

    I kind of get a kick out of it when your blog contains more ads than news.

  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 1:56 pm:

    ===I kind of get a kick out of it when your blog contains more ads than news. ===

    You ain’t the only one, baby. You ain’t the only one.

  11. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 2:30 pm:

    Geez, how many times do we have to pay for these nukes?

    I’m not against nukes, but they’re not employment programs.

    Did Exelon bank the money to decommisision like they were supposed to, or is that gone, too?

  12. - MrJM - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 2:56 pm:


    Do you still get paid if you don’t parrot all of the talking points?

    – MrJM

  13. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 2:57 pm:

    Won’t see him no more, MrJM.

  14. - Johnny Pyle Driver - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 3:12 pm:

    I have been following the clean jobs bill and aggregation issue pretty closely for quite some time now, and it’s still so confusing. Do the Ameren and ComEd electricity rates move the “market rates” that the brokers negotiate for the muni aggregation towns?

  15. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 3:23 pm:

    I’m not against nukes, but they’re not employment programs.

    No, but they have been welfare programs for the towns in the neighborhood. One local town has a property tax rate that is half its neighbors, and some nice public investments, due to the presence of the nuke.

    Did Exelon bank the money to decommisision like they were supposed to, or is that gone, too?

    Maybe they figure if they kept Dresden running for nearly 60 years, they can keep it and the others running for another 60 years while they figure out what to do with all the “stuff”.

  16. - anon1 - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 3:39 pm:

    If Illinois legislators insist on bailing-out Exelon, instead of a $1.6 billion outright bailout of a for-profit company, we should demand that in exchange, Illinois receive $1.6 billion worth of shares of Exelon stock AND a few seats on the Exelon Board of Directors.

    If we have to give Exelon $1.6 billion, it should be in exchange for owning $1.6 billion of the company.

  17. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 4:01 pm:

    When you say kick, do you mean you light a cuban cigar with a $100 bill?

  18. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 5:36 pm:

    Exelon is running out of money to pay for decommissioning costs for Zion, has gotten their hand slapped for “creative” accounting, and says that the Clinton plant is now only worth $72 million. I’ve posted links to websites about all of this in the past on cap fax. The new property tax angle is a new one. Dropped from over $200 million to $72 in about a year! Amazing how that can happen (snark).

  19. - foster brooks - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 5:47 pm:

    i’d bet a grand exelon is NOT closing any nuke plants. don’t buy into the bull

  20. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Apr 22, 15 @ 5:49 pm:

    Not never, foster brooks. They won’t run forever. Have to be decommissioned in somebody’s lifetime.

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