Rose: Legislation to cap rate increases and protect local jobs deserves a vote

Citing a report from the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), the Illinois Power Agency (IPA), the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) says legislation that would support keeping nuclear power plants open in Illinois, such as the plant in Clinton, should move forward based on its merits.

“This report is just another example of why nuclear power is so important for Illinois’ energy portfolio,” Rose said. “Keeping the Clinton Power Plant operational is more than just a regional jobs issue. Considering 50 percent of electricity in our state comes from nuclear, closing any nuclear power plant means giant rate increases for everyone. That hurts working families and it would only hasten Illinois’ job losses and economic recovery as businesses lose the one competitive edge that Illinois still has right now, our low energy costs.”

Last year, the ICC, IPA, IEPA, and DCEO released a report titled, “Potential Nuclear Power Plant Closings in Illinois: Impacts and Market-Based Solutions.”

From the report:

ICC:

“The ICC report quantifies the significant increase in wholesale electricity cost that will result in retail price increases for Illinois residents and businesses as a consequence of the closing of any Illinois nuclear power plants.

“…while at the same time the ICC notes that these nuclear plant closings would reduce the reliability of the electric transmission grid.”

IPA:

“The IPA analyzes various scenarios regarding the premature closing of the Byron, Quad Cities, and Clinton nuclear power plants and shows that in most cases electric system reliability would be reduced as a result, with more days in which the daily peak demand exceeds the available capacity.”

IEPA:

“IEPA estimates that the cost of additional carbon emissions to society from the closing of one, two, or three of the Byron, Quad Cities, and Clinton nuclear power plants in the decade from 2020-2029 would be significant, ranging from $2.5 to $18.6 billion.”

DCEO:

“Illinois’ continued success depends on maintaining low and stable electricity prices – and those low and stable prices depend on the continued operation of all nuclear generating stations located in Illinois.” 

Rose is co-sponsoring Senate Bill 1585, legislation that would protect consumers by capping future rate increases and giving communities, like Clinton, a fighting chance.

“This is not a guarantee that any plant stays open, but an honest attempt to craft good public policy that focuses on stable and reliable power, while protecting consumers,” Rose said. “It is a policy that aligns with experts in the field who have studied the threat that closure of nuclear facilities would pose. It deserves a vote.”

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