News Local/State

Legislation To Help Exelon’s Nuclear Power Plants To Be Delayed: House Energy Comm. Chair

Exelon's Clinton nuclear power station.

Exelon's Clinton nuclear power station, in an undated photo. (Wikimedia Commons)

With the Illinois legislative session nearing a close, it looks like the plug has been pulled on efforts to prop up renewable, coal and nuclear power.

Advocates of solar and wind power came out with a plan to up demand for renewable energy.

There was a last minute pitch by southern Illinois lawmakers to focus on coal.

And last, but not least, Exelon pushed a plan to help its nuclear power plants. The corporate behemoth had threatened to shut down a trio of nuclear plants in Clinton, Byron, and the Quad Cities. Exelon says the plants are losing money, and would have to close, unless Illinois lawmakers passed a law establishing a low carbon portfolio standard that would require electric utilities to use more power generated by nuclear plants. (The legislation is House Bill 3293 and Senate Bill 1585).

Chair of the Illinois House Energy Committee, State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora), says she wants one, big compromise.

"I think what will end up happening is, we'll compromise”, said Chapa LaVia. “We'll get everybody to the table and we'll compromise on one omnibus bill. And work together and go forward. 'Cause, especially in energy, it's something that you can't get wrong."

But Chapa LaVia said putting an omnibus bill together would “take a little bit longer than May 31st”, the scheduled date for lawmakers to adjourn for the summer.

Chapa LaVia says she's also watching and waiting for action on the federal level that could have big effects in Illinois.

Others in on energy talks also say there's no hope for a law to pass this spring … though at least one legislator noted … things can change rapidly.