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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
HomeIllinois NewsIL Chamber of Commerce blasts energy proposal as "largest electricity rate hike...

IL Chamber of Commerce blasts energy proposal as “largest electricity rate hike in Illinois history”

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UPDATE: SB 2408 passed the Illinois Senate Monday, and Governor Pritzker promised to sign it into law. 

SPRINGFIELD – The concern about the skyrocketing cost of energy the Democrats' "green new deal" will put into effect could devastate the state's already struggling economy, says the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. 

As the Illinois Senate returns to Springfield today to take up a comprehensive energy proposal, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce urges legislators to oppose this flawed proposal that will dramatically increase costs and call reliability into question. Senate Bill 2408, introduced by House Democrats and passed just last week, includes extensive language that needs significant reworking. In addition, there are a number of provisions which the Chamber believes are extraordinarily troublesome. Those include:

  • The arbitrary closure of Prairie State and Springfield’s CWLP. Taking these reliable sources of baseline power will impact electricity reliability, and will cause an enormous financial impact to those communities who rely on it for power.
  • Emission limits on gas peaker plants will force the closure of plants that are essential to meeting peak demand when our most sensitive residents need it the most. These plants only operate when the grid needs those facilities to meet exceptional demand, and their closure will lead to outages and extreme exposures inside residents’ homes during heat waves.
  • As mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, the "U.K. has leaned on wind power as it aims to slash carbon emissions," and as a result, they are facing higher energy costs due to the "sudden slowdown in wind-driven electricity." Power intensive companies suffer the greatest from the price increases which are induced by bad legislation and governance.
  • Electricity generation and steam production for industrial or commercial users for on-site use would be shut down. This would subject businesses that are currently able to provide for their own energy needs to paying the increased energy costs associated with this bill, but also and more significantly, force industries that rely on steam for their operations to shut down.
  • A second enormous subsidy for Exelon, not even five years after the last enormous subsidy. The Chamber appreciates the need to support nuclear energy generation in Illinois, but further controls, such as the Senate’s efforts to limit this new subsidy in the event the federal government takes similar action, independent audits to verify financial need, and claw-backs in the event these plants are profitable are critical.
  • With the costs of this omnibus energy package soaring, controlling the overall program costs by eliminating questionable new spending contained in a host of new programs is essential.
As the Senate returns to Springfield today to tackle what is a very complex, technical issue, the Illinois Chamber strongly urges legislators to focus on energy affordability and reliability, jobs in existing and burgeoning industries, and the impact to ratepayers across the State. 
 
Today, the Senate skipped the crucial committee hearing that should be given to any legislation of this magnitude. Instead, the Senate has decided to disregard the legitimate concerns of its citizens and stakeholders by proceeding directly to the floor for action.
 
The concerns noted above are real, will have a significant impact on electricity prices on ratepayers, and will call our ability to provide electricity during peak demand in to question. We encourage the discussion to continue in an effort to find the right balance between the interests of ratepayers and those who produce energy.

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