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Rauner administration rejects key components of Exelon/ComEd bill

Monday, Nov 21, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* This will get the lobbyists scrambling…

From: Jason Heffley, Policy Advisor for Energy and Environment
To: Richard Goldberg, Chief of Staff
Date: November 21, 2016
Re: Impact of Exelon/ComEd Bill on Energy Prices and Jobs

I understand the leadership of Exelon and ComEd requested a meeting with you tomorrow to advocate for passage of their energy legislation. As you know, this legislation has attracted a wide range of viewpoints and public comments. While our office will continue to work diligently to bring all parties together to reach bipartisan consensus, we will also uphold the governor’s statement of principles with respect to any energy legislation:

    1) We should protect the high-quality and good-paying jobs at the Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear power plants;

    2) We should protect the thousands of other high-quality, good-paying manufacturing jobs around the state, which could be put at risk by saddling job creators with high energy costs;

    3) We should protect working families and seniors on fixed incomes from significant rate increases; and

    4) We should support efforts to conserve energy and lower energy costs for all families and job creators.

Over the last few days, we have become aware of significant public concerns regarding the most recent draft of Exelon/ComEd’s legislation, which passed out of a House committee last week. These concerns include:

    1) The legislation as filed raises energy costs on some of the largest employers in Illinois by more than $100 million over the life of the program, hurting their ability to be competitive and putting jobs at risk. Given our already high workers’ compensation costs and property taxes, rising energy costs would make us even less competitive. Such costs should be mitigated to avoid heavy job losses and lost opportunity across the state.

    2) The legislation as filed skyrockets energy prices for working families and fixed-income seniors through so-called “demand rates” that would dramatically alter the way customers are charged for their energy usage. These are not demand rates, these are insane rates – and they should be rejected.

    3) The legislation as filed does not provide a long-term commitment to keeping the Quad Cities and Clinton nuclear power plants open beyond six years. These communities deserve to know their jobs are not going away in six short years.

We understand that the legislation as passed by the Committee will not be the final legislation. Therefore, we will continue our work to create bipartisan consensus and uphold the governor’s statement of principles.

The administration is apparently hearing a lot of complaints from business owners about the coming rate hikes and are worried (like many are) about this “demand rates” proposal from ComEd.

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  1. - Ggeo - Monday, Nov 21, 16 @ 5:10 pm:

    I applaud the Governor for his leadership here. This is pretty clear indication that this thing is moving,with major changes.

  2. - Altgelds Ghost - Monday, Nov 21, 16 @ 5:14 pm:

    This is the roadmap for the eventual deal for those paying attention. Remove demand rate and commit to longer than 6 years on QC and Clinton and off they go. A deal, what do you know.

  3. - AJo - Monday, Nov 21, 16 @ 5:24 pm:

    The average rose in energy costs for each home is going to be 25 cents a month. The cost projected for increase for the same home will be $1.75 - 1.80 each month. That is numbers from the Illinois energy committee that was discussed last week at the hearing. I do not have the numbers for a large businesses but I would have to assume they would follow a similar trend. You have to be aware that you can’t pull close to 3000 MW of power from the grid in Illinois without an increase in power prices.

  4. - BEST Dave - Monday, Nov 21, 16 @ 5:40 pm:

    The average rate hike on residential customers is not $0.25.month. Exelon claimed it was $0.25/month before they added the $7 billion coal bailout. Now it’s miraculously still $0.25/month? Simply not credible.

  5. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 21, 16 @ 6:29 pm:

    –1) We should protect the high-quality and good-paying jobs at the Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear power plants;–

    That’s the role of the state?

    Exelon says they can’t cut it in the marketplace without a government-approved, taxpayer-financed subsidy.

    How collectivist.

  6. - Loop Lady - Monday, Nov 21, 16 @ 7:15 pm:

    Wow…totally unexpected…I am impressed…

  7. - Willie - Monday, Nov 21, 16 @ 7:22 pm:

    Jason who?

  8. - Chicago 20 - Monday, Nov 21, 16 @ 8:03 pm:

    What about the “Free Market” setting the price?

    It’s an interesting dichotomy that this “job creator” who generates and distributes electricity are saying that they are not going to create any new jobs.

    Perhaps business’s aren’t job creators after all.

    If only Mr. Heffley was concerned about internet access rates as much as he is concerned about a single energy provider charges their customers.

    Electric customers can choose their provider while customers have no realistic choice for an internet provider.

    So now Mr. Heffley is compelled as a policy advisor to tell the State of Illinois to tell ComEd how to run their business.

    The shear hypocrisy of a Government which can not and will not submit a balanced budget to the general assembly for two straight years has the gall to demand that ComEd do anything is beyond me.

  9. - NIU Grad - Monday, Nov 21, 16 @ 8:18 pm:

    One has to wonder how the Quinn team would be mismanaging these negotiations…if they would be engaging at all.

  10. - Huh? - Monday, Nov 21, 16 @ 8:30 pm:

    What???? 1.4% is anti business???

  11. - DuPage Bard - Monday, Nov 21, 16 @ 10:30 pm:

    Anyone else think this is a really bad deal? Except for ComEd, of course.

  12. - Anon221 - Monday, Nov 21, 16 @ 11:18 pm:

    Ameren isn’t too keen on it, according to The Southern.

  13. - Uh Oh - Tuesday, Nov 22, 16 @ 1:36 am:

    Invenergy ..I mean BEST Dave wants to see less competition in the market - sounds like he is for consumers, not.

  14. - Barstool Jake - Tuesday, Nov 22, 16 @ 1:48 am:

    “Simply not credible.” Either is a group that pretends to be for consumers, but wants to see baseload power nuclear plants close to the benefit of their “secret” funders who want to remain anonymous .. sounds legit, not ..

  15. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 22, 16 @ 6:27 am:

    ===less competition in the market===

    Um, we’re 40 percent over capacity.

  16. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 22, 16 @ 6:31 am:

    ===compelled as a policy advisor to tell the State of Illinois to tell ComEd how to run their business==

    What planet are you getting drunk on? ComEd came to the General Assembly, not the other way around.

  17. - Earnest - Tuesday, Nov 22, 16 @ 7:36 am:

    Smart move by Rauner. He’ll be perceived as standing up for working families against rate increases. People can relate to that, sadly, a lot more than they can relate to the destruction of the human services system. He campaigned on being able to self-fund and not be beholdin’ to special interests, and he may be delivering on that here. Neither he nor the Raunerites are dependent on them for campaign donations.

  18. - Jibba - Tuesday, Nov 22, 16 @ 7:39 am:

    Refreshing to see logical consistency. If business costs are too high due to worker protections, then they shouldn’t be raised for a corporate bailout, either. However, clearly something is going to happen that will raise utility prices on the blue state, with nearby red states benefitting from subsidized electric rates from the exported power.

  19. - Jibba - Tuesday, Nov 22, 16 @ 7:51 am:

    Didn’t Exelon also officially notify MISO that they were closing Quad Cities, and weren’t we told that decision was irrevocable by Exelon, because it led to the subsequent evaluation by MISO whether QC was needed for base load generation and therefore was eligible for additional revenue from MISO (and it was found not to be)?

  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 22, 16 @ 8:46 am:

    Looks like rauner wants to shoulder the increases on the middle class

  21. - A guy - Tuesday, Nov 22, 16 @ 9:13 am:

    This is what happens when every bill of consequence turns into a Christmas Tree. If you want to save some jobs; tell people that’s what you’re doing and quantify it. Energy can be a volatile commodity over time. Surpluses turn into shortages sometimes. If saving jobs adds some insurance to the supply and can have a stabilizing (if not way less expensive) effect on costs, you can sell that. All the other special interest stuff will see scrutiny.

    4 seats in the House and 2 in the Senate make a big difference here. Especially the ones that were gained.

  22. - Chicago 20 - Tuesday, Nov 22, 16 @ 1:31 pm:

    Rich Miller - ComEd came to the General Assembly, not the other way around.

    ComEd hads to go through the general assembly because they are required to by State regulations. The same regulations that keep utilities from being in the “Free Market” and recently allowed customers the ability to chose their electric power provider with fixed and variable rates.

    Until electric utility companies are truly deregulated, Illinois consumers will pay higher rates.

  23. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 22, 16 @ 1:32 pm:

    ===because they are required to by State regulations===

    Wrong again.

    ComEd could’ve gone to the ICC with this.

  24. - Chicago 20 - Tuesday, Nov 22, 16 @ 2:43 pm:

    Been there, done that.

    HR 1146.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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