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Kinzinger praises Illinois nukes, demands action, but won’t say if he supports another bailout

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020

* US Rep. Adamn Kinzinger penned an op-ed this week about the crucial nuclear energy sector in Illinois. His conclusion

Unfortunately, due to laws and regulations in Illinois, these federal proposals won’t be enough. The most effective and necessary actions to help save our nuclear fleet can only come from Springfield — from the Governor and General Assembly. If state officials fail to act, our nuclear generating stations will close. If that occurs, we face the prospect of blackouts, unreliable electricity costs, increased gas emissions, and job losses statewide. The lost tax revenue would hurt our communities and make it difficult to pay for things like high quality schools and the critical local services we rely on daily.

Now is the time to act. If you’re concerned about this impending crisis like I am, please contact your representation in Springfield. This is too important of an issue not to act, and quite frankly, the future of Illinois depends on it.

* Kinzinger’s spokesperson sent me a copy of the op-ed and I followed up…

I read that this week and am not clear on what he wants the state to do. Should the state, for instance, approve Exelon’s request for yet another bailout?

From last October

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.

* The reply…

Hi Rich – thanks for reaching out on this. To answer your question, the Congressman understands and appreciates that this issue is complex, fluid, and delicate. Given the consequences associated with retiring any of our Illinois nuclear generating stations early, the Congressman felt it was important to make the public aware of the situation and instill some urgency, but did not feel it would be productive to make hardline, specific demands.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 9:32 am:

    Free market Republicans strike again!


  2. - Ok - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 9:35 am:

    I feel like this is an interesting statement where he seems to be blaming the public corruption scandal of Exelon for creating resistance to a solution to help Exelon:

    “Special interests, market forces, overly-burdensome regulations, and sadly, outright public corruption have, over time, created a growing resistance to nuclear power and hampered any sort of state-level solution.”


  3. - NIU Grad - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 9:37 am:

    Demands the GA to act, but won’t specify what kind of action he will actually get behind.

    Oh yea, this guy is ready to be Governor.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 9:46 am:

    If you’re going to complain and whine and bellyache with no real solution as to what the state should do…

    === To answer your question, the Congressman understands and appreciates that this issue is complex, fluid, and delicate. Given the consequences associated with retiring any of our Illinois nuclear generating stations early, the Congressman felt it was important to make the public aware of the situation and instill some urgency, but did not feel it would be productive to make hardline, specific demands.===

    … the reality is Mr. Kinzinger is himself… part of the problem… and not solution oriented.

    Good to know.

    Phonies are good at this. Point at things, write stuff and nonsense, but… not really at all good at getting things done, or knowing how to get solutions.

    Pathetically bad, but like all things in this era, I truly appreciate when folks show us exactly who they are, and Mr. Kinzinger is one who has no solutions, but wants to complain to seem relevant.

    So great to know, thank you.


  5. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 10:03 am:

    Wonder how much Exelon donated to kinzinger’s PACs.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 10:08 am:

    Also makes ya wonder if Mr. Kinzinger, in a smug way he seems to exude when reporters, (maybe constituents?) only seems to be “complaining”… watch Mr. Kinzinger in his tee-vee appearances, seemingly annoyed that folks “don’t know” things.

    This is an example of the faux anger/outrage Mr. Kinzinger thinks makes him seem thoughtful, but is quite thoughtless and shallow, and not solution driven by any means.

    If that was the *best* response his Crew could come up with, which is more pathetic, the initial piece of baloney or the baloney written saying “yeah, we got nothing”?

    I’ll let them choose.


  7. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 10:20 am:

    With no solution to propose, Kinzinger should have stayed quiet.

    The nuclear plants book value should be close to zero. Exelon should have reserves to cover the closing costs. If the plants more than cover their operating costs, economics says they should keep operating.

    Back when these plants were built, power generation was regulated. Part of that regulation was looking at the entire mix of generation. The state could fund such a review. Better information might permit development of better solutions.


  8. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 10:30 am:

    “Special interests, market forces, overly-burdensome regulations, and sadly, outright public corruption have, over time, created a growing resistance to nuclear power …”

    So the historical cultural resistance and the astronomical cost to build a nuc hasn’t had anything to do with new nuclear power stations? Oh, please. In 2017, South Carolina shut down construction of a twin plant due to cost overruns and lack of progress. It didn’t help that the builder, Westinghouse, went bankrupt in 2017.

    When nuclear power was first proposed, it was billed as an electric generator that would produce power that would be extremely low cost. There was no thought about the long range consequences of the need for an eternal storage facility for the spent fuel rods. Where is the Yucca Mountain national storage spent fuel storage facility? Oh, yeah, the Feds cut funding for the project in 2011.

    Exelon is choosing to close the Illinois power plants because they are “losing” money. That is code switching for we aren’t making as much money as we want. The 2018 exelon net income was over $2 billion on revenue of nearly $36 billion. And they expect the citizens of Illinois to pad their bottom line to the tune of $200 million per year?

    Special interests? Exelon isn’t a special interest? Kinzinger, go peddle the trumpian double talk someplace else.


  9. - Jocko - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 10:45 am:

    I guess socialism is okay…so long as it takes the form of corporate handouts.


  10. - DuPage - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 10:59 am:

    To Exelon: Call us back when your nukes produce “electricity too cheap to meter”. Until then, NO MORE BAILOUTS.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrNCMra-6Z8


  11. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 11:16 am:

    If they’re so unprofitable, maybe someone should introduce a bill that would let them turn over the plants to a public entity?


  12. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 11:27 am:

    ==With no solution to propose, Kinzinger should have stayed quiet.==

    Kinzinger? Stay quiet? lol

    His goal is to get his name printed and mentioned in various press outlets. This meets that goal. Project complete. He rarely commits to anything. Even when he votes a certain way, he’ll go to the media and hedge.

    Since he punts the question at hand as one for the state GA, here’s a Federal-level question for Kinzinger: Where should we put the radioactive waste? Will you commit to finding a safe location and then funding the construction and maintenance of the site? (Even if it is in a state with more people than Nevada?)


  13. - Earnest - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 11:29 am:

    >At the federal level, there are some things we’re doing to support the future of nuclear energy. But right now, we need to focus on sustaining our existing reactor fleet. To that end, there’s only so much we can do to have an affect in the near-term.

    Also this at the federal level:
    https://capitolfax.com/2020/01/22/advocates-push-for-ceja-chamber-pushes-back/

    Perhaps there is room for some bipartisan, collaborative state/federal approaches.


  14. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 11:50 am:

    ===If that was the *best* response his Crew could come up with, which is more pathetic, the initial piece of baloney or the baloney written saying “yeah, we got nothing”?===

    I assume that to some extent now is not the best hiring environment for talented right leaning staffers.

    A party that is rooted on anti-intellectualism is only going to appeal to certain kinds of talented and intelligent individuals.

    If one is a kid sitting in a college class room right now trying to determine which path they want to pursue as a some day staffer the self selection criteria in filtering between Right or Left wing right now involves some odd stuff.

    If you are required to disbelieve in climate change or at the very least be okay with pretending to disbelieve in climate change to win elections while also not doing anything to address climate change, what kind of candidates are you going to have for the job?


  15. - VerySmallRocks - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 12:50 pm:

    Tell ya what, Adam and Exelon, here’s a reasonable compromise, impose carbon and methane pricing/taxes instead of a direct bail out of nukes. BTW, that revenue will go towards renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage and electric vehicles chargers.


  16. - truthteller - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 3:09 pm:

    let the the stockholders bail out THEIR company who has given them PROFITS for decades. No reason for Illinois taxpayers to do so


  17. - Rich Hill - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 3:17 pm:

    Adamn, Kinzinger.


  18. - Doug - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 3:53 pm:

    “Our nuclear plants”? I had no idea the people of IL owned the plants. As it currently stands, power plants in the state generate more power than is needed. A declining population, declining manufacturing and more efficent led light bulbs, appliances etc means that other states are buying that surplus while comed customers/IL taxpayers are paying for that subsidy.


  19. - Its like this - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 4:43 pm:

    Look how the Govenor of New York by order of his appointed “Public Service Commission” fools and keeps New Yorkers in the dark https://www.syracuse.com/news/2017/03/what_your_next_utility_bill_wont_say_youre_paying_extra_to_save_3_dying_ny_nukes.html


  20. - XDNR - Wednesday, Jan 29, 20 @ 7:06 pm:

    Kinzinger is good at word salad responses and ironically sits on his hands while the Trump administration guts years of established environmental regs. This is the same guy who said what Trump did to get dirt on Biden does not meet his so called threshold of impeachment.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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