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Tribune sides with ComEd despite studies to the contrary

Thursday, Apr 30, 2015

* From the Tribune editorial board

Wind and solar generators and a number of environmental groups are pushing for competing legislation called the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill. It would encourage energy conservation and set a target that 35 percent of the state’s electricity supply come from renewal resources. The changes in what’s called the Renewable Portfolio Standard would give a big advantage to wind and solar providers. Yes, this legislation would hike your electric bill.

* The Tribsters endorsed the ComEd bill instead

ComEd, the Exelon subsidiary that distributes power, wants to change how customers are charged for the distribution system. ComEd says rates would initially fall, then rise, and there would be a “net zero” cost to customers over 10 years. But some customers would pay more and some would pay less depending on their consumption patterns. […]

The strongest argument for a change in law rests with ComEd. It makes a good case that its investments in smart grid technology have paid off in better efficiency and fewer power disruptions. ComEd isn’t seeking a competitive edge — in this niche it doesn’t have competition. It is the only distributor of electricity in northern Illinois.

ComEd says its legislation would improve the smart grid, help apartment dwellers generate their own solar power, and create a network of electric vehicle charging stations.

* Pete Giangreco fires back…

Today’s Chicago Tribune editorial (ironically titled Power play: The battle over your electric bill) shows that went it comes to siding with the powerful, there’s no one quite like the Trib Ed Board. The piece completely ignores studies by Citizens Utility Board (CUB) and Union of Concerned Scientists that say Illinois Clean Jobs bill (HB2607/SB1485 Nekritz/Harmon) is the only one of the three energy bills that saves consumers money — $1.6 billion total or an average residential savings of nearly $100 a year going forward according to CUB. The funny part is that the Trib editorial also ignores ComEd’s own admission that their bill (as well as the one pushed by parent company Exelon) are actually the ones that raise your electric bill.

Furthermore, The Trib completely misunderstands what the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is. Like a lot of things in Springfield, it’s broken and complicated, and Illinois Clean Jobs bill is the only one that fixes it and allows the free market to operate in Illinois like it does in states like New York and Massachusetts, where solar and wind are taking off. It’s odd that the Trib is against getting government barriers out of the way of the free market that could create 32,000 clean energy jobs per year when fully implemented, but when you are in the tank, you are in the tank.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

35 Comments
  1. - MrJM - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:18 pm:

    “Went it comes to siding with the powerful, there’s no one quite like the Trib Ed Board.”

    And you can carve that in stone.

    – MrJM


  2. - okgo - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:38 pm:

    Would love to hear the Ed Board define the pieces of the ComEd legislation and what their benefits are - Voltage Optimization, microgrids, demand-base rates.

    Heck, I would settle for them defining a kilowatt-hour.


  3. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:43 pm:

    “ComEd isn’t seeking a competitive edge,” it’s only seeking even more money out to line the pockets of its executives and avoid blowing the deadlines it set in the first place.


  4. - D.P.Gumby - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:56 pm:

    MrJM nails it. Just add Groucho’s song from “Horsefeathers” and apply it to the Trib ed. bd.:
    “I don’t know what they have to say
    It makes no difference anyway
    Whatever it is, I’m against it!”


  5. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 2:09 pm:

    The Civic Committee should take a page from Brookfield Zoo and build a Tribbie Blowfishinarium in Pioneer Court.

    If you have enough money, the edit board will go in the tank for you and jump through hoops on command.


  6. - Anon221 - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 2:29 pm:

    Sounds like lobbying is gonna happen on May 6-

    http://m.clintonherald.com/opinion/residents-must-make-voices-heard-to-save-power-plan/article_c88ca7aa-658e-5ceb-b2a8-45d4ae67dee7.html?mode=jqm


  7. - truthteller - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 3:13 pm:

    No wonder the Trib wants our taxes cut. They want Com Ed to get our money


  8. - green wants a handou - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 3:22 pm:

    I wonder who’s paying uber lobbyist Pete Giangreco to accusse the Trib of “being in the tank?” Fact is, Green Energy exist in Illinois only because real companies like Com ed and Exelon subsidize them, or else the pitance of powet these so called energies would be so expensive nobody could afford them. What is more, windmills and solar plants don’t create thousands of good paying jobs like the nuke plants. Sheesh. Talk about trying to hustle the uniformed!


  9. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 3:27 pm:

    Rich, I give you a lot of points for trying to bring and illuminate the Byzantine world of Illinois utilities to the folks.

    But even in a community of state government-wired readers, we can see every time from the lack of comments that the industry driven willful esoterica of the conversation puts people to sleep.

    Victory for them. A penny raise in the state sales tax would generate 200 heated comments, easy. A huge ComEd score on the electricity that you can’t live without generates five.


  10. - BEST Dave - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 3:32 pm:

    Well, at least they came out against the Exelon bailout bill.

    Oh, and “green wants a handou”, when you say Pete is hustling the “uniformed,” did you mean police uniforms, army uniforms or just the uniform belief that ComEd Exelon is always right?


  11. - Anon221 - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 3:40 pm:

    Good catch BEST!


  12. - green wants a handou - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 3:45 pm:

    No, what I am talking about is how green energy cannot pay for itself and wants the nasty nuke plants to subsidize them. Fact is, Pete is being paid handsomely to front for green energy. The problem for green energy is that it is very expendive and doesn’t create good jobs like nuke plants do. If I was Com ed or Exelon I shut a few plants down and let consumers see reality — green energy only works when it is subsidized by real energy companies. Giangreco is fronting for corporate welfare for his green paymaster. End of story.


  13. - Anon221 - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 3:48 pm:

    For those who wish to be “uniformed”:

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/exelon-profits-jump-1430312620
    http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060017726
    http://dewittdailynews.com/mobile/news/details.cfm?clientid=22&id=173114#.VUKUYom9Kc0

    On the last one, this would be a very convenient time for Exelon to find something seriously wrong at the Clinton site to justify permanent shutdown. The Quad Cities and Bryon I think have both already gone through their annual refuel and maintenance programs.


  14. - Soccermom - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 3:54 pm:

    I love Giangreco. Huge fan. And Green wa a hadou — Please don’t tell the nice people in Germany that green energy only works when it is subsidized by real energy companies (like, I suppose, Enron). It will break their hearts.


  15. - green wants a handou - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 4:09 pm:

    Thanks for making my point soccermom. Fact is, the average German taxpayer pays 21 cents a kilowatt for power while the average Americans pays 5.5 cents per kilowatt. Please don’t tell the Germans how much more they are paying as the news may well break their hearts and wallets.


  16. - Anon221 - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 4:36 pm:

    Ah, but there’s more to the Germany story. As this article pints out, you shouldn’t just look at rates!

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-22/u-s-power-grid-s-2-trillion-upgrade-needs-european-efficiency


  17. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 5:12 pm:

    – green wants a handou–

    Geez, read those posts.

    The question becomes, is ComEd slumming it with an incoherent shill, or is an incoherent shill just making a lucky score off ComEd?

    Dude, make an effort.


  18. - 1776 - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 5:26 pm:

    Give me a break Pete. The only reason that we have renewables is because it is mandated in law. It is far more expensive than nuclear, coal, or natural gas and cannot stand on its own two feet. Increasing the renewable requirement simply requires utilities to buy more high cost power and pass the price along.


  19. - MrJM - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 5:44 pm:

    The only reason that we have coal and natural gas is because they aren’t required to bear the cost of the pollutants that they routinely pump into our air.

    – MrJM


  20. - Anon221 - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 5:48 pm:

    1776- “the only reason we have renewables is because it is mandated in law.”

    Just one question- is that the only reason individuals, families, and companies are already( and have been) using renewables?

    Well, maybe two- Do you only perceive the use of renewables as a touchy feely 60s-70s thing?


  21. - Senator Clay Davis - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 5:55 pm:

    Why does any conversation about energy these days devolve into an ignorant discussion of German energy policy? Focus, people!

    Exelon is asking for a massive, $1.6 Billion ratepayer subsidy over the next five years, without oversight from the state. It’s terrible public policy and far less than the efficiency and renewables proposal (both of which benefit consumers and the environment).


  22. - Anon221 - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 6:19 pm:

    And in Ameren country-

    http://www.bnd.com/news/local/article19962975.html


  23. - Going nuclear - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 6:21 pm:

    I can’t think of an energy resource more addicted to government support than nuclear generation, including tax breaks, accident liability caps, direct payments and loan guarantees. Remember when we were promised that nuclear reactors would be “to cheap to meter”?

    And the fossil fuel industries get more than their fair share of subsidies. According to the International Energy Agency, oil, coal and gas received more than four times the $120 billion paid out in incentives for renewables last year.

    As for the newspaper editorial, the ghost of Thomas G. Ayers must be walking the halls of the Tribune.


  24. - Going nuclear - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 6:36 pm:

    = Do you only perceive the use of renewables as a touchy feely 60s-70s thing? =

    You might want to put that question to Walmart. The retailer is working towards 100% renewable energy. It has installed 105 megawatts of solar capacity and has more projects in the works.


  25. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 6:56 pm:

    32,000 jobs due to renewable and energy efficiency is a stretch at best. Most jobs are construction jobs that will go away once projects are completed. The number of in-house jobs is minimal. In 2010 the Edison Electric Institute ran a study on all energy sector jobs in Illinois and the total number of jobs was 19,000 plus. It’s hard to fathom 32,000 jobs will be created per year due to the clean jobs legislation.


  26. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 7:23 pm:

    =- green wants a handou - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 4:09 pm:=

    Green energy only wants the same types of handouts nuclear and coal get every single day. Why is it wrong to level the playing field? There “at least 250 mechanisms” of subsidies for traditional power generation. https://gigaom.com/2012/01/03/today-in-green-it-the-fossil-fuel-subsidy-game/


  27. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 8:24 pm:

    Thomas Ayers had some clout.

    His spoiled-rotten terrorist kid spent years wantonly planting bombs in public places, then walked straight in from the cold on to the state payroll, no problemo.

    Muscling politicians and media to facilitate gouging consumers is all in a day’s work for a guy like that.


  28. - Soccermom - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 8:35 pm:

    Word we have got to get together for that drink


  29. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 8:38 pm:

    Anonymous656, that Edison number is seriously flawed. Don’t believe me? Ask Exelon that claims closing three nukes would eliminate almost half those 19,000 jobs at only three plants. Illinois has dozens of energy plants of various kinds so those numbers just don’t add up.

    The Clean Energy Trust has an annual census of clean jobs including efficiency. They do well over 100 interviews and have found more than 100,000 clean energy jobs in Illinois including energy efficiency jobs (including people installing various efficiency products and services).


  30. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 8:40 pm:

    Oh, and if you look at the top of the page, the Dynegy ad says they support 9132 jobs once again showing that Edison number is fatally flawed.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 8:45 pm:

    I know I haven’t commented because I don’t know enough to comment knowledgeably.

    I’m reading, I’m learning, but I know I don’t know enough to make a reasonable argument.

    I’m glad others are here.


  32. - Smitty54 - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 8:56 pm:

    Sorry Pete Giangreco, but the words “free market” can never be applied to New York or Massachusetts!!


  33. - Anon221 - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:04 pm:

    http://cleantechnica.com/2015/04/29/corporate-ppas-could-be-the-next-big-thing-in-renewable-energy-heres-why/oing nuclear-

    As are many others. Being held hostage to the likes of Exelon is not going to play well in corporate boardrooms as the future progresses.


  34. - Anon221 - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:06 pm:

    http://cleantechnica.com/2015/04/29/corporate-ppas-could-be-the-next-big-thing-in-renewable-energy-heres-why/

    sorry- here’s the correct website. I was answering back to going nuclear’s post


  35. - Loop Lady - Friday, May 1, 15 @ 8:02 am:

    green wants: every form of energy is subsidized to some extent…its a matter of choosing the old ways of generating power, or renewable greener technology…please tell me why we should should give another handout to ComEd/Exelon based on their performance and track record…who is paying you to be a mouthpiece?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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