The Illinois Senate adjourned last week without calling a comprehensive energy regulatory reform package for a vote, reported by Capitol News Illinois. A vote is expected to happen sometime this summer as negotiations continue.
“There are still some points of contention between two critical constituencies—between labor and the environmental activists,” said Senate President, Don Harmon, who added that he is “confident” an energy bill will pass this summer.
Hours earlier, in an Energy and Public Utilities Committee hearing, Senator Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, said the bill had stalled amid disagreements over decarbonization measures aimed at taking coal and gas plants offline.
“There are two proposals, more or less. One, which is supported by the governor and the environmental community, is a very much accelerated decarbonization schedule. One that the organized labor in the state has indicated they would support is a less accelerated form of decarbonization,” Cunningham said.
The Governor’s initial timeline required coal plants offline by 2030, but that was pushed back in negotiations until 2035. Much of the negotiation in recent days is centered on whether the state would allow the gas and coal-fired plants to install carbon sequestration technology to bury emissions underground in order to meet declining carbon caps.
Deputy Governor Christian Mitchell said the governor’s bill would, among other things, preserve 2,000 nuclear jobs by subsidizing three of Exelon’s nuclear power plants. The bill would provide $694 million in subsidies to the three nuclear plants at a cost of about 80 cents on the average monthly ratepayer bill.