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Energy bills put on hold as new poll shows strong support for clean power

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

* I told subscribers about this development earlier in the week

As the General Assembly moves toward its May 31 adjournment with issues such as a state budget, graduated income tax, and the legalization of sports gambling and recreational marijuana still to be decided, an ambitious package of energy market reforms will likely have to wait until the fall veto session or later before moving forward.

The expected delay comes despite calls for urgency from activists and energy interests from coal to nuclear and renewables. The ultimate goal of the stakeholders involved is to merge several energy-related bills into a comprehensive reform package that drives renewable energy production in Illinois.

“There’s a lot of shifting ground in the energy space right now in Illinois. But given all the complicated policy initiatives facing the Legislature right now, this session, I think it’s fair to say energy related concerns have been relegated to the back burner for now,” state Sen. Bill Cunningham said earlier this month.

Cunningham, D-Chicago, is the chair of the Senate’s energy committee and sponsor of Senate Bill 1781, dubbed the “Path to 100 Act,” aimed at moving the state toward 100 percent renewable energy by expanding on Illinois’ 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act, or FEJA.

* The Clean Energy Jobs Act has also reportedly been back-burnerized. Coincidentally, the coalition promoting the legislation is out with a poll today. From the polling memo

Tulchin Research recently conducted a statewide survey among 500 likely November 2020 voters in Illinois in order to assess attitudes about the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a bill currently before the State Legislature that would set a path for Illinois to be 100% powered by renewable energy by 2050. Our poll finds that nearly 7 in 10 (68%) support the Clean Energy Jobs Act based on a basic description of the bill and that support is broad-based, extending across the state and across the political spectrum.

Our poll finds that Illinoisans overwhelmingly support the Clean Energy Jobs Act based on a basic description of the bill. Nearly 7 in 10 (68%) support the Clean Energy Jobs Act, including more than a third of (35%) who say they strongly support the bill, while just 20% oppose it and 11% are undecided.

    Here is a description of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a bill being considered by the Illinois State Legislature.

    The Clean Energy Jobs Act sets a path for Illinois to be 100% powered by renewable energy by 2050, removing all carbon electricity production by 2030. This act would create jobs and provide job skills and training so there is equal economic opportunity in clean energy industries throughout Illinois. And the law would eliminate pollution by encouraging the use of electric vehicles, especially by municipal bus and car fleets.

    Based on what you know, do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose the Clean Energy Jobs Act?

    Total Support 68%

    Total Oppose 20%

    Don’t Know 11%

    Support – Oppose +48

* More

Sorry for the blurriness. Click here for a better copy.

* They also asked a coal question…

Coal-fired power plants are closing in Illinois mainly because they can no longer compete economically with cheaper, cleaner electricity sources. 49%

Coal-fired power plants are closing in Illinois mainly because of too much regulation and pressure from environmental groups. 27%

Don’t Know 24%

* Methodology

From May 2-6, 2019, Tulchin Research conducted a statewide survey among 500 likely November 2020 voters in Illinois. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 4 percentage points.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - Ok - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 10:06 am:

    Well, at least we’ll be able to cover the spread while the world burns.


  2. - State of DenIL - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 10:10 am:

    You can get any result you want if you ask the questions the right way.


  3. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 10:16 am:

    Whatever happens, whenever it happens, keep an eye out for Dynegy pushing its snout into the trough to add to its billions in annual revenues with a taxpayer bailout for its “unprofitable” coal plants.

    That would just be welfare, as taxpayers would not get an equity stake.


  4. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 10:20 am:

    Another example of the ignorant being led into answers by people with an agenda. How many times do people have to be told 100% renewable energy is still not possible in widespread application unless are willing to live with power fluctuations. The only way you make it work is with storage systems that do not exist at this time. It all comes down to baseload generation and renewables still can’t deliver that. Would be nice to have legislators who would listen to the utility experts rather than the activists who have never run system wide electrical generation systems.


  5. - Sylvester - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 10:20 am:

    Not surprising given Tulchin has a long list of left wing clients. The only reliable clean power source we have is nuclear, but good luck expanding that.


  6. - Merica - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    With enormous subsidies, including free federal clean up of mines and power plants by the EPA, coal can’t compete with anything, not wind, not solar, not LNG.

    Close the mines and close the coal plants. Save the lives of old people and premature babies. Save our drinking water !


  7. - Joey Twoshoes - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 10:23 am:

    It’s telling that apparently 1/5th of people are in total opposition to “protecting the health of future generations”


  8. - JS Mill - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 10:23 am:

    =Would be nice to have legislators who would listen to the utility experts =

    Unfortunately they have been listening to the utilities and that is why we have been subsidizing them so much.

    We might as well send more money to solar and wind. Subsidize them even more too.


  9. - Anon in BB - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    Interesting that they didn’t poll if people would be willing to pay greatly increased electricity rates for all this clean energy.

    For a case study, see Germany and what is happening in that country when they shut down all their nuclear plants and attempted to go full clean energy. I believe they pay the highest rates for electricity in Europe.


  10. - Bilbo Swaggins - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    *Not surprising given Tulchin has a long list of left wing clients. The only reliable clean power source we have is nuclear, but good luck expanding that.*

    Pretty much, but this is one of those issues where the left suddenly becomes the party of anti-science.


  11. - Ok - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 10:48 am:

    NeverPoliticallyCorrect includes so many tropes in one paragraph it is hard to keep track.

    “How many times do people have to be told 100% renewable energy is still not possible in widespread application unless are willing to live with power fluctuations.”

    You contradict yourself in your next sentence.

    “The only way you make it work is with storage systems that do not exist at this time.”

    Energy storage does exist today. It exists. Its in your pocket. Its in our cars. And Illinois already is one of the country’s biggest leaders in energy storage deployment.

    What you were looking for is that we would need energy storage in an AMOUNT that doesn’t exist today. Which is true. So… we build it.

    “It all comes down to baseload generation and renewables still can’t deliver that.”

    Baseload is load. Not generation. Its just means the minimum amount of electricity we use over the course of a year. It is quite literally the EASIEST load to meet on the grid, because it is the minimum amount you always need.

    “Would be nice to have legislators who would listen to the utility experts rather than the activists who have never run system wide electrical generation systems.”

    Yes, why don’t we all just listen to those people we pay billions of dollars a year that are telling us to keep paying them for their product. They have our best interests at heart.


  12. - Sylvester - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 10:59 am:

    : we build it :

    Yes, in the form of batteries, that wear out and need to be disposed of in some fashion. And those batteries are designed to provide for a heavy load for a few minutes only-guess what kicks in after that…a diesel generator. We can’t power a car for more than a couple hundred miles, how do you power an entire city?


  13. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 11:17 am:

    –The only reliable clean power source we have is nuclear, but good luck expanding that.–

    I hadn’t noticed a lack of nuclear power plants in Illinois. But don’t let that get in the way of your grievance.

    It was just a couple of years ago that Illinois ratepayers had to bail out two nukes because Exelon claimed they were “unprofitable.”

    Considering that they’re unprofitable, and they’re selling that excess juice in other states already, why would they build more?


  14. - Sylvester - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 11:26 am:

    - why would they build more? -

    All those coal plants will have to be replaced with something reliable, and windmills and solar panels ain’t it.


  15. - Dave Kraft NEIS - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    This would have been a no-brainer to support if it did not require the Exelon nuclear bailout. We CAN go carbon free/nuclear free — provided we ditch the staged “nuclear hostage crises” that Exelon holds every few years as a condition for more renewables.


  16. - anon - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    I am uncertain if the poll could have been more biased? The proposed bill would “create jobs and provide job skills and training” and “eliminate” (not reduce) pollution? Maybe if they promised it would also be free, the support could have gotten over 80%?


  17. - Going nuclear - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 12:31 pm:

    There have been staggering improvements in the cost-competitiveness of solar, wind and batteries over the last 7-10 years, thanks to technology innovation, economies of scale, price competition and manufacturing expertise. We’re beginning to see a crossover in costs between renewables and coal-powered electricity. I expect more technology improvements in the near future and that may include modular nuclear units and carbon sequestration. We need to get cracking though. The climate scientists say we’ve got to get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.


  18. - AndyIllini - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 12:34 pm:

    =Whatever happens, whenever it happens, keep an eye out for Dynegy pushing its snout into the trough to add to its billions in annual revenues with a taxpayer bailout for its “unprofitable” coal plants.=

    That would be shocking, considering that Dynegy doesn’t exist anymore.


  19. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 12:49 pm:

    - why would they build more? -

    All those coal plants will have to be replaced with something reliable, and windmills and solar panels ain’t it.–

    I don’t think the coal plant owners agree, but putting that aside for now:

    Who exactly is proposing to bankroll new nukes in Illinois? They’ve put in their applications and everything? Takes a while to build them.


  20. - Pelonski - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 1:25 pm:

    That poll would be a lot more credible if it included the potential costs associated with the bill (higher rates, coal job losses, government debt, etc.). As written, the only people who should be against the bill are people with outside information.

    This may or nor be a good bill, but it is definitely a poorly constructed poll if it was really intended to get an honest result.


  21. - nadia - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    Current real-time fuel mix to meet current MISO and PJM load demand: PJM (Northern IL included)- Gas 31,325 MW, Nuclear 32,877 MW, Coal 22,405 MW, Renewables 7,627 MW; MISO (Downstate IL included) - Coal 29,896 MW, Gas 17,594 MW, Nuclear 11,508 MW, and Wind 12,165 MW.

    Need construction of more & more renewables and advancing battery storage to replace Coal and Gas serving 56% of PJM load today and Coal and Gas serving 65% of MISO load today.


  22. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    –That would be shocking, considering that Dynegy doesn’t exist anymore.–

    They’re a subsidiary of Vistra, troll.

    https://www.vistraenergy.com/

    https://www.dynegy.com/


  23. - Roads Scholar - Wednesday, May 22, 19 @ 3:33 pm:

    Re: energy storage, see: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vistra-energy-to-develop-300-megawatt-battery-storage-project-in-california-300674786.html

    The irony of coal enthusiasts beating the drum in comment sections while coal plant operators seeking legislation enabling them to close the plants and build utility scale solar and storage. If you dig coal, you can find some plants for dirt cheap in MISO.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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