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A bill so nice, he’s signing it twice

Tuesday, Dec 6, 2016

* WHBF

Illinois governor Bruce Rauner will be in the [Quad Cities] this week to sign the Future Energy Jobs Bill.

The bill was passed last Thursday and reportedly will ensure that Exelon nuclear plants in Cordova and Clinton, Illinois will remain open for at least the next ten years.

Governor Rauner will sign the bill in the gym at Riverdale High School at 9:30 on Wednesday.

But he can’t actually sign a bill that isn’t on his desk.

* Dan Petrella

Gov. Bruce Rauner plans to visit Clinton on Wednesday to sign a bill overhauling Illinois’ energy policy and creating $235 million in annual ratepayer subsidies to keep open Exelon Corp.’s nuclear power plants there and near the Quad-Cities.

The Clinton Chamber of Commerce announced Sunday on its Facebook page that Rauner plans a bill-signing ceremony at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Clinton High School. The governor’s office did not respond immediately Monday to a request for confirmation, and as of Monday afternoon, the bill hadn’t been sent to his desk. [Emphasis added]

The Senate still has the bill. I was told by the Senate Democrats today that they weren’t sure when they could get it to Rauner’s desk. So, stay tuned.

…Adding… Not long after this post appeared, the Senate sent the governor the bill.

* Meanwhile..

The typical Ameren Illinois residential customer will pay about $1.93 less per month for power after a far-reaching energy bill goes into effect June 1, 2017, according to an analysis of the Future Energy Jobs bill by the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Eventually, however, rates will start to increase beyond today’s levels around 2023, according to the ICC model.

The energy bill, promoted for almost two years by Exelon Corp. to preserve its nuclear plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities, was approved by the Illinois Legislature on Thursday. The main feature of the measure is a subsidy of up to $235 million a year to keep the two nuclear plants open for at least 10 more years. […]

“Based on our analysis,” said ICC Executive Director Cholly Smith, “we expect residential customer caps will reduce rates in the first few years and meet the goals of the legislation to limit increases throughout the life of the law. As an agency whose mission is to balance the interests of consumers and utilities, we stand ready to enforce these caps.”

* But

While proponents of the bill tout “rate caps,” sadly these caps are a sham, gamed by Exelon using technical language to mask artificially high baselines against which caps will be measured. For commercial and industrial customers, the gaming of the rate caps will cost them more than $100 million per year.

For residential ratepayers, the gap between rhetoric and reality is extreme. Exelon has said their bills will go up by no more than 25 cents a month, but that’s an average of all residential customers, not individual homeowners. An independent analysis by Illinois’ leading energy expert, the Power Bureau, finds the bill will cost the average residential ratepayer an additional $4.54 a month for ComEd customers and $2.01 a month for Ameren customers in downstate Illinois.

* And the infamous Grover Norquist ain’t happy, either

Illinois lawmakers recently passed the Future Energy Jobs Bill (SB 2814), which would create the biggest rate hike in U.S. history. Proponents of the legislation claim it will “create jobs” and reduce energy rates. This is not true. This anti-free market legislation will kill tens of thousands of Illinois jobs, increase rates in the state by more than $13 billion and prop up politically connected corporations at the expense of Illinois residents. […]

The state’s economy would likely be the hardest hit. The legislation would cause a projected loss of over 44,000 jobs and a reduction in Illinois’ economic activity of $14.7 billion. State and local governments would also see an estimated tax revenue loss of $429 million.

Given the drastic impact of this legislation on Illinois residents, businesses, and the state’s economy as a whole, one can only ask is this cost truly worth bailing out two insignificant nuclear plants in the state, while also doling out billions of dollars to special interests? The answer is obviously no.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) has the ability to save his constituents from this needless and burdensome legislation, simply by refusing to sign the Future Energy Jobs Bill and ensuring Illinois residents and businesses are not subjected to the highest rate hike in history, thousands of jobs lost and billions of dollars in reduced economic growth.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - anon - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    Absolutely pathetic on Cullerton’s part. Senate can send it over whenever they want. Game-playing by the so-called adult in the room.


  2. - Anon - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 12:24 pm:

    The Norquist rhetoric — “the highest rate hike in history”– will make good fodder for future campaign hit pieces.


  3. - Grass Bowl - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 12:26 pm:

    Rich - they sent it to him today


  4. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 12:26 pm:

    “…the bill hadn’t been sent to his desk.”

    Just a technicality, surely. /s


  5. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 12:28 pm:

    Must have just been in the last few hours. Rauner owns this one BIGLY!!!


  6. - The All Knowing Oz - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 1:00 pm:

    Well…Time to buy more candles. I have made a conscious effort to conserve and use less and my bills consistently have gone up. There will come a time when only those that are well off or on welfare can enjoy the benefits of this legislation.


  7. - Deft Wing - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 1:05 pm:

    Terrible bill arising from a terrible process.

    Rauner’s single biggest PR mistake to date.


  8. - A guy - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 1:54 pm:

    DW, for it to be a PR mistake, the P needs to be talking about it. They aren’t. At all. And now he’s going into two communities that revere those jobs and shoring up his R in those areas.

    It’s not a great bill. May even be terrible. The process is always a mess in Springfield. But no matter how big you think the cloud is, the silver lining exists. And he’s making the most of it.


  9. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 2:58 pm:

    Exelon and the ICC are shameless.

    Exelon gets the biggest rate increase in history and then sells the bump by rolling customers who aren’t on the hook into the “average” increase. And the ICC backs them up.


  10. - One who knows - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 3:11 pm:

    Words linger, you are wrong. Bills will go down because of this, particularly in the 4 to 5 years after it becomes law. And bills will be much lower than the scenario where nothing happened and the plants closed.


  11. - One who knows - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 3:14 pm:

    Seriously, do you think exelon would have agreed to 25 cent a month maximum rate caps if bills would get anywhere near that from the future energy jobs bill?


  12. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 3:16 pm:

    –Bills will go down because of this, particularly in the 4 to 5 years after it becomes law.

    What a win-win!

    Exelon gets a $235 million a year bump, and customers’ bills go down!

    Whose the alchemist that drafted the legislation, Nicolas Flamel?


  13. - One who knows - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 3:40 pm:

    Lol. Don’t agree with you on this issue, but a funny and good response, words linger.


  14. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 3:47 pm:

    - Whose the alchemist that drafted the legislation, Nicolas Flamel? -

    No Word, it wasn’t magic, just the expert negotiating of Rich’s favorite buddy, er, Superstar Goldberg. The guy truly is gifted.


  15. - anom - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 3:57 pm:

    my electric bill just went down Imoved in with my girl friend. my bill was over 100$ per month for just a refigerator running


  16. - jw - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 4:30 pm:

    question— how much will this raise rural coops who purchase power from them some of them have very high rates because they are still paying back their losses from the Clinton plant


  17. - 7B - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 4:39 pm:

    so exactly where will this increase appear on the bill? In the electricity charges or in the delivery charges portion? Or, even more mysteriously, in the taxes and other charges?


  18. - DuPage Bard - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 5:12 pm:

    According to Crain’s the ICC just approved a rate increase for ComEd today as well to start on Jan 1. Well isn’t that convenient?


  19. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Dec 6, 16 @ 5:20 pm:

    jw- there aren’t that many, and I’m not being snide or snarky, but emailing the coops and their directors that question might be a good thing. I’m hoping that Illinois Living ( our coop’s monthly magazine) will be covering this topic.

    And, what about all the electric aggregation issues? DeWitt county voters just approved in the General giving the county authority to do this for unincorporated areas of the county. This is that good old Opt Out thingee. Corn Belt told our members we were exempt.


  20. - BEST Dave - Wednesday, Dec 7, 16 @ 12:08 am:

    7B, it will appear in multiple locations starting with the Energy Efficiency line item. There will be a new fixed charge for every residential customer. It will be $2.33/month for ComEd customers and escalating 4% per year to about $4/month. For Ameren, it will start at $3.94/month escalating to more than $6/month. We will also pay for the nuke bailout, RPS and other goodies in the bill. If you’re on a fixed income in a small apartment, your life just got a lot more difficult.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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