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Pritzker falsely accuses Bailey of lying about eminent domain provision in CEJA

Thursday, Aug 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* During the Farm Bureau’s Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable candidate forum yesterday Governor JB Pritzker accused rival gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey of lying about eminent domain….

Transcript

Darren Bailey is lying to you about a few things. There’s nothing in the [Climate and Equitable Jobs Act] that makes it easier to impose eminent domain. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

* Here’s what Bailey said

Q: In the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, there was a provision that would allow the use of eminent domain to take private property for a project that is not a public utility. Do you support giving private companies that are not a public utility the right to use or to take private property?

Bailey: I do not. I have two counties in my Senate district that are affected by that. And I stood on the Senate floor and I said there was a lot of things wrong with this bill. Number one, it forces coal out too early. And number two, it forces natural gas out too early. And number four, it makes our dependency on wind and solar too soon. But I said all that aside, if there’s one reason and one reason alone why I would vote no on this bill, it would be because of the eminent domain clause.

* Pritzker was asked a similar question during the Farm Bureau event yesterday

Q: In the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, there was a provision that would allow the use of eminent domain to take private property for a project that is not a public utility. Why do you feel that this project, that is not a public utility, should have the right to take private property?

Pritzker: That provision was removed from the bill before it passed. There is not an eminent domain provision in the bill that allows the state to take property under an eminent domain, any more than there was before there was a Climate and Equitable Jobs Act.

Not true.

* The final bill signed into law allowed a transmission line to invoke the same eminent domain authority by granting it the same eminent domain powers utilities have for the Grain Belt Express project. Capitol News Illinois explains

Democratic lawmakers at the time said the language, included on page 673 of the public act, applies to the Grain Belt Express, a transmission line owned by the private company Invenergy. The language in the bill states that a project of Grain Belt’s magnitude “shall be deemed” a public use line, giving the company the ability to invoke eminent domain if needed. […]

Pritzker, in his discussion at the forum, incorrectly claimed any eminent domain language was stricken from the bill. Asked by a reporter after the forum about the Grain Belt Express provision, Pritzker said he was “talking about eminent domain broadly.”

“What I heard was eminent domain, and that really got taken out of the CEJA at the very last day,” he said.

Invenergy, meanwhile, has held town halls and said eminent domain would be a last resort with the vast majority of their interactions with property owners ending amicably.

He may have just heard the phrase “eminent domain,” but the question included another part about giving the private project the same status as a public utility.

* More from the Missouri Times last year.…

A new Illinois law could bring the Grain Belt Express project one step closer to construction, according to parent company Invenergy.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed off on a decarbonization and energy regulation bill last week aiming to bring the state’s energy sector to 50 percent renewable by 2040 and carbon-free by 2050. Part of the bill will allow Invenergy to invoke eminent domain for its project and reapply for regulatory approval in the state.

The project was granted a certificate of public convenience and necessity by the Illinois Commerce Commission in 2016, but the order was reversed two years later when an appellate court concluded the commission had erred in approving a non-public utility.

The new bill allows “qualifying direct current projects” delivering clean energy across the state to apply for the same certificate through the end of 2023, a designation Invenergy said the project falls into.

[Many thanks to Isabel for putting much of this post together.]

…Adding… Pritzker campaign…

There was no language in the CEJA that allowed for eminent domain in wind and solar. There was one transmission related project in the bill, but nothing statewide and nothing that allowed for eminent domain in wind and solar projects.

Um, wind and solar projects weren’t mentioned in the question to Pritzker.

       

49 Comments
  1. - Needs Deleted - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:18 am:

    Wont mean much in the end, but JB ought to just say he got that one wrong.


  2. - Lurker - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:21 am:

    Is it impossible to say “my bad”? It’s not that big of a deal but this clarifying how I was not really wrong when I’m wrong, is annoying. At least he did not blame the media, so I guess that’s a good thing.


  3. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:21 am:

    I’ve heard these transmission line projects are the biggest NIMBYs of all the NIMBYs. I understand why the GA put that provision in, but they should be honest about it now that it’s law.


  4. - PublicServant - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:23 am:

    LoL. Lock him up. The horror here isn’t that JB made a mistake. It’s Bailey’s opposition to anything that could help with climate change.


  5. - Redneck Bill - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:26 am:

    Rut roh…. Gee George which way did he go? which way did he go? JBP not looking very well right now. Bailey has yet to peak and from what’s going on in Chicago I’d say JB is doing a lot of Rut roh’s about now.


  6. - Bruce( no not him) - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:31 am:

    Own it.
    About the mistake, go on.
    Easy


  7. - Nieva - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:34 am:

    Most big solar and wind projects locate in an area where a transmission line already exists. Our project in Saline County is hitting the Norris line and building a substation on land they purchased from a farmer that is involved in the project. The biggest complaint is from property owners that live close to the plant. Many of them will receive a one-time check to compensate for that. You can get a group of farmers to lease ground to build a solar farm but it will cause a firestorm if you start taking ground from them to build a new transmission line.


  8. - Bruce( no not him) - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:36 am:

    Oops
    About should have been admit the mistake


  9. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:36 am:

    The ads on this are going to be brutal. JB should just fold up shop now while he still has his dignity.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:38 am:

    ===Bailey has yet to peak and from what’s going on in Chicago===

    Crime ain’t that big of an issue to help Bailey and his Trumpian ways.

    To the post,

    What I will watch is Bailey making an ad out this and…

    Yeah. Any hay will either be earned media and the cycle of it, or the same folks likely not voting Pritzker reinforcing that thought.

    There’s a need to be better, but it’s a mistake to a group he may not have any lock on anyway?


  11. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:41 am:

    When is the last time JB admitted being wrong about anything?

    He always shifts the blame and gets away with it.

    it’s who he is


  12. - Demoralized - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:42 am:

    There’s enough out there to criticize Bailey on. This was a stupid mistake.


  13. - MoralMinority - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:44 am:

    While Bailey seems to be technically correct and Pritzker wrong on the eminent domain wording, I have to say that the electric power grid, while privately owned, serves such an important public good that it deserves the same eminent domain authority for transmission line projects as do highways. I don’t know if I would go so far about solar and wind installations because they would be much more localized than a transmission line. I definitely don’t think eminent domain should ever be invoked merely because what is being built would bring in more tax revenue than the present use of the land being condemned. In other words when two private parties are involved, say a large online merchant perhaps named after a major South American river who wishes to build a distribution center versus a government subsidized “family” farmer, the government should stay out of the fight. Let the free market work in those cases. Sort of reminds one of the old man in “Up.”


  14. - Eastside - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:47 am:

    I have to apologize. I was listening yesterday and noted the Governor’s inaccurate claim to my colleague at the same time sarcastically noting that I am sure his inaccuracy would pop up on the blog. And kudos to your young apprentice on putting this piece together.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:50 am:

    ===When is the last time JB admitted being wrong about anything?===

    Using to Google key…

    ===Unfortunately, the metrics in the Metro East area got worse after the restrictions were imposed and were worse than Kankakee and Will when they got restrictions.

    To his credit, Pritzker said he made a mistake going easy in the Metro East.===

    There’s one. Easy to find too

    https://www.sj-r.com/story/opinion/columns/2020/08/30/statehouse-insider-pritzker-admits-mistake-was-made/114352276/

    Find your own next time.


  16. - Demoralized - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:53 am:

    ==He always shifts the blame ==

    Lol. That’s pretty rich coming from you.


  17. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:54 am:

    ===I’d say JB is doing a lot of Rut roh’s about now.===

    LOL. JB spent a lot of money to insure Bailey would be his opponent. But you keep believing that if it makes you feel better.


  18. - Back to the Future - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:55 am:

    Good work by Isabel.
    Pritzker never admits a mistake, but he clearly is not telling the truth here.
    Not sure why he would lead off claiming Candidate Bailey was telling a lie. Sometimes a more measured and courteous approach in these kinds of interactions would be more useful, but JBP always seems to stick to the low road and attack in a nasty way. Nothing wrong with being respectful of your opponents. JBP should try that sometime. Being rich doesn’t give you a license to be obnoxious
    Now he should apologize, but based on how he rolls I doubt that will happen.


  19. - Demoralized - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:57 am:

    ==Nothing wrong with being respectful of your opponents. JBP should try that sometime. ==

    Yeah, because Bailey is so respectful of him.

    That’s not how campaigns work.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:57 am:

    ===never admits===

    That’s patently false. Read above.

    Thanks.


  21. - DeeLay - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 10:59 am:

    This is the sticky wicket of public (privately-owned) utilities and transmission companies which have to work hand in hand for grid stability. We are seeing a seismic shift in how the grid operates - going from a few big sources of power generation to many smaller sources of power generation and the grid needs modernization.

    JB is in Schrödinger’s box here because of the awkward grey area. Personally, if the transmission companies operate under FERC - they should be treated as a public utility when it comes to major transmission projects.


  22. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 11:01 am:

    ===Read above===

    I did and didn’t see any admission of error.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 11:04 am:

    That he made a mistake going easy in the Metro East.

    Unless I read that wrong, it’s possible.


  24. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 11:04 am:

    “Number one, it forces coal out too early. And number two, it forces natural gas out too early. And number four, it makes our dependency on wind and solar too soon.”

    Is this a transcription error or did Bailey skip number three?


  25. - Sterling - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 11:05 am:

    Did everyone else skip the part where Bailey counted “one, two, four” the first time they read this post or was that just me?


  26. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 11:06 am:

    Was Bailey trying to be funny, or can he not count to three - in his answer at the top of the story?

    “Number one[…]. And number two, […]. And number four[…]”


  27. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 11:06 am:

    hehe. We all saw it at the same time.


  28. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 11:07 am:

    ===Was Bailey trying to be funny===

    Not sure, but it was kinda funny.


  29. - MoralMinority - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 11:07 am:

    In the transcript of Bailey’s remarks, he makes points one and two about coal and natural gas, then skips to point four about dependency on wind and solar. Was point three inadvertently left out of the transcript or just Darren trying to stretch his talking points out? Couldn’t get video to play, kept timing out.


  30. - Responsa - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 11:09 am:

    “Darren Bailey is lying to you about a few things.” If the governor had instead said “Darren Bailey” is wrong about a few things that he said” it would have been so much easier for JB to almost immediately admit that he was wrong about one of the things he himself said, and corrected it. By elevating Baileys “crime” to lying (when he was not) the governor now has taken on the mantle of lying. It’s not going to change the outcome of the election. But Pritzker’s easily documented mistake about eminent domain does potentially raise the question for some voters of “what else is JB not being honest about?”. It’s just not a good look for him.


  31. - MoralMinority - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 11:09 am:

    Sorry Invisible: My post and yours crossed during lag time.


  32. - MoralMinority - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 11:13 am:

    Gee, Darren, Mrs. Easton taught us to count better than that in kindergarten at North Clay.


  33. - cover - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 11:14 am:

    It seems to me that Pritzker should apologize in this case, even if his offense was making a response based on what he *thought* he heard, not Bailey’s actual statement.

    I don’t expect perfection from politicians any more than I do from anyone else - we are all human, after all. However, I would expect some contrition when someone has made an error and it’s pointed out to them.


  34. - 13th - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 11:19 am:

    JB was trying to catch up with Bailey half truths /s


  35. - MoralMinority - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 11:26 am:

    Plus one point for Darren for being falsely accused of lying by JB. Minus one point for JB for falsely accusing Darren of lying. Minus one half pint for Darren for not being able to count correctly.


  36. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 11:53 am:

    - He always shifts the blame and gets away with it. -

    Lol, remember “I’m not in charge.” ?


  37. - JS Mill - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 12:12 pm:

    Pritzker was wrong, he should own it.

    As far as an apology? Given the constant lies and insults that the bailey campaign slings at Pritzker, I would pass in the apology until bailey gets a few on the record.

    =When is the last time Lucky Pierre admitted being wrong about anything?

    He always shifts the blame and gets away with it.

    it’s who he is=

    Fixed it for you.


  38. - StateEmployeeThatIsNotInAFSCME - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 12:13 pm:

    ==I’ve heard these transmission line projects are the biggest NIMBYs of all the NIMBYs. ==

    Would those NIMBYs have bigger than, say, the proposal to extend Route 53 Tollway into Lake County over the years? Or Peotone Airport or past O’Hare expansion efforts? And all the NIMBYs against those projects?


  39. - Peter Griffin - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 12:28 pm:

    JB needs to just admit he was wrong and move on. Being called a liar is much worse than an eminent domain issue related to power that most people aren’t affected by or care about.


  40. - DuPage - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 12:30 pm:

    Emirate domain should be reformed, usually property owners get far less than their property is worth. Usually, they are offered a low-ball amount, and have to go to court to get a fair amount, often “on the courthouse steps”. If the law is modified to significantly increase the amount paid to the property owners, a lot of the NIMBYistic opposition would disappear.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 12:34 pm:

    “I did it. I was wrong. I am sorry”

    Admitting the error here is important, as the sitting governor it’s imperative in this instance that 1) admitting a mistake 2) understanding the error, and 4) realizing that we all make mistakes, admitting one at any time isn’t a surrendering.

    I’ll wait to see if they can do that.


  42. - Not a Superstar - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:01 pm:

    The entire industry knows this provision was added to correct a Supreme Court ruling that had misinterpreted the Public Utilities Act, making it impossible to create new transmissIon lines that serve the Illinois public. This is easy stuff. The governor should just admit he misspoke and move on.


  43. - G'Kar - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:04 pm:

    When I heard Bailey on the radio this morning, I immediately thought he needed to consult the Book of Armaments.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOrgLj9lOwk


  44. - Back to the Future - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:13 pm:

    “I’ll wait to see if they can do that”
    We did not have to wait long for the Governor to try to spin things and misrepresent the situation.
    Hat tip to the good reporting that pointed out the Governor’s misrepresentation of the facts in this case. That was some good coverage of this whole issue.


  45. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    ===We did not have to wait long===

    The reality is this ain’t gonna make it break Pritzker, but it does put into question the idea of making it right or not.

    If one decides it’s this issue that finally puts them with Bailey over Pritzker, then it’s highly likely they weren’t voting for Pritzker anyway.

    When Bailey runs ads on this…


  46. - cover - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:43 pm:

    = Is this a transcription error or did Bailey skip number three? =

    Maybe he didn’t want to trigger the Holy Hand Grenade /s


  47. - thunderspirit - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 1:50 pm:

    This seems like an unforced error, rather than an attempt to lie, but it’s one that Governor Pritzker should own up to.

    And his campaign’s spin isn’t helpful. Two wrongs don’t make a right.


  48. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 2:21 pm:

    ===usually property owners get far less than their property is worth.===

    I find the opposite is true, especially if a private utility is involved. I have talked to farmers in Will County who were getting paid 3x the pro rated appraised value from pipeline companies, just to get quick signatures.


  49. - sal-says - Thursday, Aug 25, 22 @ 5:06 pm:

    With all the nutball positions Beetle has spewed, I don’t see Pritkzgers comments all that egregious.

    Sorry.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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