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*** UPDATED x1 - Pritzker: Up yours *** Exelon threatens to shutter four nuke plants if it doesn’t get what it wants

Thursday, Oct 31, 2019

* Steve Daniels at Crain’s

The threat is explicit now.

Springfield will have to swallow hard and agree to legislation next spring to rescue Exelon’s financially ailing Illinois nuclear fleet despite the legal cloud enveloping the company, or the company will move to close plants. That was the message CEO Chris Crane delivered on a Halloween earnings call with analysts.

For good measure, he added a fourth plant to the three the company already has said are at risk of early closure.

Now in the crosshairs: Exelon’s LaSalle power station in addition to the previously identified Byron, Braidwood and Dresden plants. Two other Illinois nukes, Clinton and Quad Cities, already are benefiting from more than $200 million a year in ratepayer subsidies, enacted in the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act.

Go read the rest. That company has the strongest sense of entitlement of any company in this state.

*** UPDATE *** From Gov. Pritzker’s communications director Emily Bittner…

If companies under a federal microscope believe it’s appropriate to make threats to get their way, they need to recalibrate their thinking and how they deal with this administration. The governor’s priority is to work with principled stakeholders on clean energy legislation that is above reproach.

…Adding… WBEZ

Reeling from a federal investigation into Commonwealth Edison’s lobbying practices, a top Exelon official on Thursday downplayed the impact of the corruption probe and any possible fallout on Wall Street.

“We’re not passing judgment on [whether there] is anything legal or illegal in some of our past practices with contract lobbyists or consultants,” Exelon CEO Chris Crane told analysts during the company’s quarterly earnings call Thursday morning. “I don’t expect [the investigation] will impede our business at all going forward.” […]

Referring to “a lot of speculation in news articles” about the investigation, Crane said Thursday, “There’s things out there that people are speculating on that — they’re guessing, to say that the best.”

It’s unclear what Crane was referring to, and he did not offer any details or clarification.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

115 Comments
  1. - Just Another Anon - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:30 am:

    I mean, if it worked for the CTU, why not let the utilities make that play.


  2. - Anon 10:20 - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:32 am:

    Here’s my advice: close them.


  3. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    Here we go, the 2020 Contract Lobbyist Employment Plan is rolled out.


  4. - JB13 - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    It’s the new Illinois way. Don’t get what you want? Shut everything down until the taxpayers capitulate.


  5. - Left of the Lake - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:35 am:

    UGH another bail out? I won’t hold my breath.


  6. - Bertrum Cates - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    = That company has the strongest sense of entitlement of any company in this state. =

    And like the bullies of yore, they respond, “Yeah? Well, what are you gonna do about it, huh?”


  7. - Gohawks123 - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:43 am:

    I wrote my thesis on why they shouldn’t get another bailout……. screw them. Go away Exelon. You’re CEO and upper admin don’t need anymore money


  8. - DD - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:43 am:

    This was predicted by many when the last nuke bailout passed. It is a well worn Exelon playbook. Threaten to close plants and then come seeking a bailout for uneconomic plants that have already been paid for multiple times by ratepayers. Things may be different now that the company is the subject of Federal investigators and past bailout efforts are under scrutiny.


  9. - Lil Squeezy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:46 am:

    What was the understanding between the GA and Exelon on the Clinton and quad cities plants after passage of the 2016 bill?


  10. - Jibba - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:47 am:

    Bye Felicia. And feel free to start that multibillion dollar decommissioning immediately.


  11. - Quibbler - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:47 am:

    If those plants can’t run without public support, then the public ought to own them outright.


  12. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:49 am:

    ===already are benefiting from more than $200 million a year in ratepayer subsidies===

    Take that away, and propose a massive tax on nuclear energy. Then see what happens.


  13. - Bertrum Cates - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    What kills me is they knew about so many of the shortcomings contributing to the problem back when they were picking up Illinois Power’s bones.


  14. - Missouri - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    Where is CUB in all this? Crane seems to say they are in the room, helping write the bailout. That’s shameful.


  15. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    For an Illinois headquartered energy production company, Exelon sure doesn’t seem to have much interest in continuing to produce energy in Illinois.


  16. - Rabid - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:51 am:

    Asset forfeiture from criminal activity


  17. - A guy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    The schools in those communities will actively get involved. Energy bills in Illinois are Employment bills.


  18. - Earnest - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    Even with the current problems, my assumption is that they will get what they want as they usually do. Really, it’s an opportunity. Somehow there’s magic that lawmakers can pass rate increases and do photo ops about saving jobs and voters don’t punish them at the ballot box like they might for raising taxes–just tack on utility taxes at the same time and put them towards the pension debt or education or human services.


  19. - Moe Berg - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:01 pm:

    I don’t see how a ratepayer bailout for a profitable near-monopolist helps the governor pass his graduated income tax amendment next year.

    This billionaire governor may have a lot more wherewithal to resist the demands of a millionaire CEO whose company is under a massive cloud right now.

    At a minimum, if there is eventually legislation, there should be some upside for ratepayers that prevents windfall profits for Exelon if market conditions work out in their favor.

    I hope the days of naked extortion are over. And, who knows if Crane will even be CEO come next spring? His board had to set up a separate special committee to deal with the federal investigations.


  20. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    To paraphrase Dodgeball, it’s a bold strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for them.


  21. - Jocko - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:03 pm:

    Has Exelon ever had a losing quarter? Also, are we supposed to overlook the fact that your former CEO is under a cloud of federal suspicion?


  22. - Senator Clay Davis - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:05 pm:

    ==Where is CUB in all this? Crane seems to say they are in the room, helping write the bailout. That’s shameful.==

    Of course they are. CUB gets several million dollars in annual operating revenue from the formula rate bill. They need a big bill to pass too.


  23. - benniefly2 - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:05 pm:

    They paid out $1.34 Billion (with a B) in dividends in 2018. They have paid out another $1.056 Billion in dividends so far in 2019 with another round to go this quarter. Exelon doesn’t need a bailout. Illinois needs to stop giving them money to perform maintenance costs that are already baked into the market price of electricity in the first place.


  24. - Nagidam - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:05 pm:

    The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition was just in Springfield lobbying for the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA). They found time to send out a press release stating they were no longer negotiating with Exelon/ComEd and mentioned the subpoenas. Truth be told they don’t want to negotiate with any utility as they think it would not be fruitful. The shot at Exelon was not helpful. I think the Greenies just got a hard lesson on political muscle. Illinois Environmental Council Ex Dir. Jen Walling, unofficial figurehead of the coalition, is a hard worker and completely knowledgeable in this arena. But she ain’t no Chris Crane. Check…Your move.

    https://www.chicagobusiness.com/utilities/clean-jobs-coalition-ends-talks-exelon-other-utilities


  25. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:09 pm:

    ===The shot at Exelon was not helpful===

    Whatever. Exelon still acts as if it isn’t part of a federal probe.


  26. - RNUG - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:10 pm:

    If you want to achieve environmental goals, you need the nukes. But at what price?


  27. - Just Saying - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:11 pm:

    The Game is 60-30-1


  28. - RNUG - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:12 pm:

    == I think the Greenies just got a hard lesson on political muscle. ==

    Given what the Sierra Club did to CWLP on Dallman 4 & the coerced wind power contract, I would say the Greenies just got a dose of karma.


  29. - Real - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    I say get rid of Exelon effective immediately.


  30. - Double Dee - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    Why can they not just raise rates to cover costs like every other business? At least then excelon customers will be footing the bill and not the entire state.


  31. - ILPundit - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:20 pm:

    Man, you would think with all those uber-connected lobbyists on their payroll that Chris Crane might have gotten a little better advice about the political atmosphere in Springfield.

    I mean, you almost have to assume that part of the case surrounding Excelon will involve scrutiny of the 2016 bailout. Until that cloud is lifted, how can any legislator even consider helping them?


  32. - Romeo - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:22 pm:

    Close them. Let them shutter. I am so sick of living in Lemon Socialism, a.k.a. profits for the business when things are going well and massive subsidies when business is bad.

    Exelon is a private business and just like any other private business, they have the right to go bankrupt.


  33. - Nagidam - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:26 pm:

    ===Close them. Let them shutter===

    Please go read up on base load power and what happens on really hot days in the summer.


  34. - Sonny - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:27 pm:

    Let em go. Ramp up alternative energy like we should have 18 years ago.


  35. - benniefly2 - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:35 pm:

    Exelon isn’t going bankrupt. They just reported a quarterly profit of $773 Million for the 3rd quarter. On pace for clearing more than $3 Billion this year. They absolutely do not need a bailout.


  36. - Bye Bye - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:36 pm:

    And take every other utility that is looking for a bail out with you


  37. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:37 pm:

    ===Please go read up on base load power===

    https://www.nrdc.org/experts/kevin-steinberger/debunking-three-myths-about-baseload


  38. - Double Dee - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:45 pm:

    Published by a bunch of greenies, no less. Regardless, a continuous supply of power is necessary, and battery technology doesn’t exist that will power an entire city when wind and solar aren’t viable.


  39. - DD - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:47 pm:

    “ Truth be told they don’t want to negotiate with any utility as they think it would not be fruitful.”

    With respect, Clean Jobs Coalition began working with the utilities nearly a year ago on this legislation. They signed NDAs with ComEd/Exelon in order to facilitate their discussions. Please don’t believe anyone that tells you otherwise. Ask them instead to show you their NDAs.

    And no, that’s not normally how it’s done.


  40. - Altgelds Ghost - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:47 pm:

    Exelon never sleeps on the legislature.
    2 weeks after ComEd and some of their Contractos phones were seized by the G but prior to public reporting of the siezures, a new chief regulator was installed at the ICC.
    Now it’s crickets from the ICC. No questions about if rate payers are paying for the millions in internal investigations and golden parachutes. Nothing.
    I know it’s just a coincidence that the chief regulators father-in-law has since been reported as one of the contractors involved.
    Nothing to see here folks. This is Illinois after all.
    ComEd/Exelon always wins!


  41. - Former Unicom Guy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:51 pm:

    The Citizens Utility Board: Literally created by statute to protect ratepayers from regulatory capture; you know, back in the old days when the ICC did whatever ComEd wanted? My how the tables have turned as CUB is now captured, helping write a bailout bill for a company that’s going to net $3 billion this year. Nothing to see here I’m sure.


  42. - Senator Clay Davis - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 12:59 pm:

    ==as CUB is now captured==

    Honestly, you gotta hand it to ComEd, they’ve pioneered new, innovative ways of manipulating public policy in their favor. Lots of utilities capture their regulators and legislators, but ComEd found a way to capture their Watchdog.


  43. - Commissar Gritty - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:04 pm:

    How the heck can they continue to hold our state for ransom every few years? Didn’t we just bail them out in ‘16?

    I’m sure their stockholders are showing record profits, take it from them.


  44. - Ok - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:05 pm:

    Clay Davis…Former Unicom Guy… DD, why are you guys talking to yourselves?


  45. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:05 pm:

    I think it is a bluff. The state should make sure that Exelon cleans up the plants quickly. Back when I worked for a company that built nuclear plants the decommissioning costs were huge. Would like to see how those are built into the balance sheet.


  46. - SpfdNewb - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    Well that was quick. The Gov. is really using his bully pulpit lately.


  47. - FEJA - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    The exactly same false accusations are made any time there is an energy bill in Springfield. In fact, they were made verbatim during the FEJA process. Bills are lower than they would have been otherwise because of FEJA. FEJA was endorsed by both then Governor Rauner and Governor Pritzker. It passed with bipartisan support. And the same groups now complaining publicly support FEJA and talk about what a great policy victory it was. Is there anyone who will say something bad about FEJA on the record? Illinois has the lowest average residential bills in the Midwest and we’ve made significant progress on decarbonizing our grid. There is still work to do on both fronts, but it is a testament to how energy policy has progressed in this state since 1997.


  48. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:13 pm:

    ==Close them. Let them shutter. I am so sick of living in Lemon Socialism, a.k.a. profits for the business when things are going well and massive subsidies when business is bad.==

    Except Excelon is asking for subsidies when business is good. They want subsidies all the time. Call their bluff. Decommissioning one nuke would be a big hit to their bottom line; decommissioning four? I don’t think they can afford it.


  49. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:13 pm:

    Bluff called.

    – MrJM


  50. - Bertrum Cates - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:15 pm:

    Dear Emily,

    Well written. Game on.


  51. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:15 pm:

    To the update: Wow, they went there. Good for them.


  52. - Ok - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:17 pm:


    The governor’s priority is to work with principled stakeholders on clean energy legislation that is above reproach.”

    Well, that should cut out all of these companies fighting for their “where is mine”


  53. - Most respected - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:19 pm:

    How in the heck carrie zalewski continues to be the chair and on this board is beyond me. Pritzker chooses to be ethical only when it serves his political needs.


  54. - Sue - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    Unfortunately- if Excelon were to shutter those 4 or even 3 generating facilities electric rates which historically have been cheap in Illinois will go up perhaps as much as 50 percent. Excelon May be trying to strong arm folks but they have the leverage


  55. - JB13 - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:25 pm:

    The governor demands bills and plans that are above reproach?

    We are laughing.


  56. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:29 pm:

    The the Governor’s response?

    It’s solid, direct, unambiguous.

    Can’t ask for much more.


  57. - Not a Superstar - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:33 pm:

    “We are laughing.” JB13 - are you dressing up as Bruce Rauner for Halloween? No wait, never mind, even he signed bipartisan energy legislation.


  58. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:36 pm:

    If the administration doesn’t want to work with entities under federal investigation, then they better get used to working with the Republicans.

    heh heh


  59. - Nick - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:36 pm:

    I continue to like Prtizker’s moxie


  60. - Lake County Mom - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    Eminent domain Excelon, then fire their executives. Gives the state some breathing time between ending the states dependence on nuclear energy and building renewable power sources.


  61. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:38 pm:

    A duel between a company under a federal microscope and a Governor and legislature under a federal microscope

    Who has the popcorn concession?


  62. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:40 pm:

    The utilities always come out smelling like a rose. If the state offers them relief they win. If the state says no they have options including to file bankruptcy and make the bond holders/ insurance companies pick-up the decom tab. It is a racket for sure.

    https://www.nrc.gov/waste/decommissioning/finan-assur.html


  63. - Trailblazer Alum - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:42 pm:

    Unfortunately, the people who work at the affected plants, who had nothing to do with ComEd’s transgressions, who go to work everyday and make the plants run, are going to be the ones who get the shortest end of the stick on this deal.


  64. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:42 pm:

    == will go up perhaps as much as 50 percent. ==

    We’re going to need a citation for that. Sounds like nonsense. In central Illinois, at least, it’s very easy to switch suppliers, and Ameren cannot block it from happening (we did this a few years back). I don’t see how Exelon could block another provider from bringing power to the customers in these areas, unless Exelon has some kind of carve out


  65. - Moe Berg - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:49 pm:

    Perhaps JB understands that negotiating with hostage takers just further encourages the behavior.

    Nukes don’t shut down overnight. Close them and watch the job boom in solar, wind farm and battery installations (in IL and neighboring states).


  66. - DuPage - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 1:53 pm:

    Time to go back to full regulation of the electric power industry in Illinois. At one time, power companies had to show where every penny went, and what their assets and expenses were. The rate was set to recover actual expenses and then a couple of percent over what the assets would have made if they were in an interest bearing bank account. Not a penny more. Profit for out of state power cartels was not considered a legitimate expense.


  67. - energist - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    ==And feel free to start that multibillion dollar decommissioning immediately.==
    They can’t. According to their decommissioning documents filed at the NRC the only plant with enough money to cover costs is Dresden. So the rest will sit there until the fund matches up with the cost. Or they’ll ask ratepayers to cover the shortfall.


  68. - 4 percent - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    Illinois has some of the lowest energy bills in the nation because of deregulation and the continued re-regulation and subsidies increase costs. The reason for the lower energy costs largely is due to hydraulic fracking (yes, I know that scares some people on Halloween) which provides gas at far cheaper rates than nuclear, coal, and renewables.

    The premise that we can get to zero percent emissions by 2030 is a joke. We are nowhere close to our current goal that is supposed to be hit by 2025 and renewables are less than 10 percent. Take a quick look at Germany’s attempt and how it backfired with pricing and public outcry.


  69. - A Jack - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:04 pm:

    Aged nukes are dangerous anyway. But Exelon won’t invest in cleaner alternatives if it can soak Illinois taxpayers to keep those nukes running. One day they are going to have to dispose of that spent nuclear fuel. I don’t know why environmentalists are no longer concerned with that.


  70. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:14 pm:

    ===Unfortunately- if Excelon were to shutter those 4 or even 3 generating facilities electric rates which historically have been cheap in Illinois will go up perhaps as much as 50 percent. Excelon May be trying to strong arm folks but they have the leverage ===

    As mentioned above, customers can switch suppliers pretty easily, so they can raise prices and I can pick a less expensive supplier.

    I’ll believe they are serious when the dividends start to go down…


  71. - Centennial - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:15 pm:

    “We’re not passing judgment on [whether there] is anything legal or illegal in some of our past practices with contract lobbyists or consultants,”

    Total entitlement. No one cares what you think new CEO. We only care what the G thinks, at this point.


  72. - Responsa - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:19 pm:

    Residents of California are finding out what happens when they cannot get electricity. There is plenty of blame to go around from company mismanagement to unreasonable gov’t restrictions out there that has contributed to the catastrophe. I urge Illinois to be concerned and genuinely serious about its power and electric grid issues and what must be done on many levels to secure it and prepare for the future needs of citizens;. I don’t feel highly confident that the circular poo flinging is helping. This is bigger than politics.


  73. - Alex Ander - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:20 pm:

    Wait a minute. I thought they were a part of the righteous private sector. You know, the same ones that think they are better than the govt’, yet here they are, wanting govt’ money.


  74. - dying HDO - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:21 pm:

    Altgelds Ghost . . . if not zalewski, who? don’t tell me sadzi????? that tony munoz hack should go to.


  75. - Fixer - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:24 pm:

    Responsa, it is also bigger than profit margins. Plenty of room for folks like Crane to come to the table with realistic expectations as opposed to hands out for more tax dollars.


  76. - Former Unicom Guy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:24 pm:

    Speaking from experience here: the decommissioning funds don’t have enough money to cover the cost of decommissioning at most of the Illinois nuclear plants. There are only two ways to solve this problem: the decommissioning funds earn a significant return in the market with their investments OR a cash infusion from either Exelon or the government (federal or state) or ratepayers. Without one of those happening, if a nuke closes it will just sit there until there’s money to decommission it.


  77. - Anon - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:24 pm:

    For those pointing to Exelon’s profits or dividends, realize that the plants are likely cost inefficient. No business should be expected to keep open a non-profitable operation just because other aspects remain profitable.


  78. - Anon - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:27 pm:

    On the other hand, Illinois could have saved a ton of money by simply awarding cash directly to the effected workers/communities. The number of jobs saved was minimal compared to the cost. And that’s before FERC issues the new rules - which are directly the result of the 2016 market manipulation in Illinois (and New York).


  79. - R A T - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:32 pm:

    From Sue: Unfortunately- if Excelon were to shutter those 4 or even 3 generating facilities electric rates which historically have been cheap in Illinois will go up perhaps as much as 50 percent.

    Well Sue, I am not rich and I am OK with that happening because it will be better in the long run.


  80. - 32nd warder - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:42 pm:

    are the employees at these facilities unionized?


  81. - Senator Clay Davis - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:42 pm:

    ==the decommissioning funds don’t have enough money to cover the cost of decommissioning at most of the Illinois nuclear plants.==

    This is a legit issue that nobody in the energy debate has been talking about. Someday, eventually, Exelon will run out of bailouts, the operating licenses will end, and those plants will close. If there’s not enough money in the accounts, ratepayers will need to cover the costs. If/when there is another big energy bill, shoring up those funds should be a part of it.

    Otherwise, even if they close, the plants will need another bailout.


  82. - Jocko - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 2:47 pm:

    ==realize that the plants are likely cost inefficient.==

    So WE’RE supposed to eat the cost of the plants while they pocket $3 billion each year?


  83. - NorthsideNoMore - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    Illinois will lose what little advantage it has over surrounding states if those plants are shuttered. The business exodus will grow. Non Illinois based energy companies will come in fast to back fill. Why send money and jobs to other states?


  84. - DD - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    “ No business should be expected to keep open a non-profitable operation just because other aspects remain profitable.”

    Absolutely right. All failing businesses should get bailouts from taxpayers. Wait, that’s not what you meant???


  85. - nadia - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 3:30 pm:

    32nd Warder - yes, the hourly employees are unionized at those plants.


  86. - Anon - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 3:49 pm:

    ==So WE’RE supposed to eat the cost of the plants while they pocket $3 billion each year?==
    Not what I said. If Illinois decides it is sufficiently important to ensure the plants are open (either for jobs or electricity generation), then Illinois can bail out Exelon. But it’s fanciful to think that Exelon will or should keep open facilities that lose money just because the company makes a profit elsewhere.


  87. - Skeptic - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 4:04 pm:

    “Why send money and jobs to other states?”
    “[If no bailout, then rates] will go up perhaps as much as 50 percent.” It almost sounds like you guys are arguing for a socialist economic model.


  88. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 4:16 pm:

    CUB should be meeting with Exelon just like McDonalds should be meeting with animal rights activists and Monsanto should be meeting with environmentalists.

    In a democracy, lawmakers kind of expect stakeholders to talk and negotiate in good faith.


  89. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 4:22 pm:

    ===If you want to achieve environmental goals, you need the nukes. But at what price?

    This isn’t true anymore and with how fast other sources are providing power the old plants are certainly not that important. If you wanted to argue for new pebble reactors not 40-50 years old designs that aren’t economical, you’d have an interesting argument (still need to figure out what to do with the waste).

    Read Rich’s article on the new distributed power sources coming online and keep in mind with some improvements in battery technology nukes won’t be necessary. That said, if someone wants to build a new nuke plant, can deal with the waste, and wants to sell the electricity on the wholesale electricity market I’d be open to it.

    Fundamentally, power companies should be split up with one delivering the power to your house and buying from a number of sources that produce power.


  90. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 4:24 pm:

    ====But it’s fanciful to think that Exelon will or should keep open facilities that lose money just because the company makes a profit elsewhere.

    Why? It has a monopoly on service provision so why shouldn’t they be required to do some things at a loss as long as they are profitable? That’s part or should be a part of the deal of getting the monopoly.


  91. - Generic Drone - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 4:26 pm:

    Nothing like blackmailing taxpayers for the future attorney fees needed to fight corruption charges.


  92. - The Long Ball - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 4:32 pm:

    -DD
    Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t you currently represent a group that has its own bill seeking taxpayer funding?


  93. - Former Unicom Guy - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 4:32 pm:

    ArchPundit: “Fundamentally, power companies should be split up with one delivering the power to your house and buying from a number of sources that produce power.”

    That’s exactly what happened in Illinois in 1997. Prices have dropped significantly even adjusted for inflation, because of competition. The issue at hand is how to deal with Exelon’s political push for a subsidy now that many other sources of power are cheaper than the nuclear units. It’s not about designing a better market for customers. The one we came up with in 97 has worked exactly as intended.


  94. - Senator Clay Davis - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 4:35 pm:

    ==CUB should be meeting with Exelon just like McDonalds should be meeting with animal rights activists==

    But McDonalds shouldn’t also be dedicating a portion of their revenue to PETA. That would weaken PETA’s credibility. ComEd effectively did this with the Smart Grid bill.


  95. - The Long Ball - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 4:40 pm:

    If distributed power along with batteries are so cost effective then why are these industries have their own bill seeking taxpayer help? Wind and solar are mature technologies, right? I guess maybe they aren’t so economic in this price environment either.


  96. - G - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 4:43 pm:

    Hmmm. CUB opposed the smart grid bill, and the smart grid follow up bill when utilities decided that wasn’t enough money. What else you got Clay Davis? Working hard for utilities and power generators today on the blog looks like. Hope they pay well. All the best.


  97. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 4:45 pm:

    ===Prices have dropped significantly even adjusted for inflation, because of competition.

    And yet Excelon still has 4 million direct customers. So it sort of happened.

    We have to support the delivery of power because it is sometimes not efficient to all places. We don’t have to support the production of electricity in the full market.

    By allowing the company to have both roles they get the ability to threaten the state on delivery because of problems with production.

    And just to quibble on the other part–97 had that problem of the reverse auction. It worked generally after that was fixed.


  98. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 4:53 pm:

    ===I guess maybe they aren’t so economic in this price environment either.

    Solar and wind are lower priced than gas, coal, or nuclear. Hence, the rapid deployment.

    Battery tech is still expensive, but also coming down rather quickly. The particular nuclear sites are expensive, have nuke waste with nowhere to go, and are going to have to be retired regardless.

    If you want pebble reactors, find someone to build them for the market and figure out what to do with the waste. It looks like battery tech will be market competitive while there it isn’t clear if new nuclear reactors will be.


  99. - Alex Ander - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 5:04 pm:

    Wants a bail out but still gives out a 3% dividend.


  100. - The Long Ball - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 5:52 pm:

    DD .. ?


  101. - Sue - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 5:56 pm:

    The anti business rhetoric on this blog is appalling. Hey why don’t we just nationalize everything and you all can work for the govt. most of you all do already


  102. - DD - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 6:02 pm:

    This is the first energy post ever to join the century club. Wow.


  103. - Jiggawatts - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 6:06 pm:

    Maybe we won’t need Exelon in the near future, if a start-up gets these going:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/arielcohen/2019/10/30/a-breakthrough-in-american-energy-dominance-us-navy-patents-compact-fusion-reactor/amp/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark


  104. - Its like this - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 6:14 pm:

    In the end The Govenor and legislators will cough up money for subsidies https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060097023 https://www.thestreet.com/story/13912806/1/exelon-exc-wins-subsidies-to-keep-two-illinois-plants-alive.html


  105. - Alex Ander - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 6:57 pm:

    Hey Sue, Expecting Exelon to stand without help isn’t anti-business. This is how small upstarts with better visionaries can grow. When you let the lumbering giants finally burn out.


  106. - The Other Rich Hill - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 7:26 pm:

    All the more reason to bolt a roof-full of solar panels on my house.


  107. - The Long Ball - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 7:46 pm:

    Yo DD .. sold yourself to coal three years ago and you converted to Path of 100? One minute against bailouts and the next you got your hand out? So conflicted ..


  108. - Responsa - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 8:00 pm:

    ==All the more reason to bolt a roof-full of solar panels on my house.==

    It’s an option. But you may want to check all the fine print on that before you do. There are a lot of exaggerations, false promises and misunderstandings about the solar panel programs being sold out there. Do your own research and be sure to talk to your homeowners insurance company.


  109. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 8:02 pm:

    ====The anti business rhetoric on this blog is appalling. Hey why don’t we just nationalize everything and you all can work for the govt. most of you all do already

    Wanting to force Exelon to face competition is anti-business? You are talking about a giant subsidy for a company that produces profits. Why? Because they insist we have to and no one else can produce electricity? If Exelon goes under because of bad business decisions isn’t that capitalism at work?


  110. - Anon - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 8:02 pm:

    If Exelon wants a bailout they’ll get a bailout. In 2016, everyone joined except the AG and coal producers. A subpoena or two won’t change the calculus. They’ll just negotiate how much of a bailout and how much to subsidize the inefficiency of solar and wind.


  111. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 8:10 pm:

    =====The anti business rhetoric on this blog is appalling. Hey why don’t we just nationalize everything and you all can work for the govt. most of you all do already

    Well at least they are already cheaper than coal, gas, and nuclear. What is this famed inefficiency you keep claiming?


  112. - walker - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 8:23 pm:

    You just gotta love some Emily Bittner talent.


  113. - The Long Ball - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 9:00 pm:

    DD and the Path to 100 want that taxpayer cash just as bad as Exelon, even as he rips them in this forum . Seems to me he is just as bad as they are, at least Exelon is open about it.


  114. - Old Illini - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 10:12 pm:

    What’s the 25 year plan? Low carbon is going to mean nuclear. What is the remaining life on these plants anyway?


  115. - Sheesh - Thursday, Oct 31, 19 @ 11:57 pm:

    Excellent response from the Govs office


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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