Pritzker vitality plan proposes $694M for Exelon nuclear crops, closing Prairie State coal plant

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker is proposing spending $694 million to bail out three Exelon nuclear crops and shutter all Illinois coal crops, together with Prairie State, by 2035, in keeping with a memo summarizing modifications to sweeping vitality laws being debated in Springfield and obtained by the Chicago Solar-Occasions.

That subsidy, to be doled out over 5 years, suits throughout the parameters of an unbiased report Pritzker commissioned on the nuclear crops in Byron, Dresden and Braidwood, the memo mentioned. That plan would additionally preserve the corporate’s nuclear plant in LaSalle viable and value the typical residential electrical buyer an estimated 80 cents per thirty days.

The proposed modification to Senate Invoice 1534 additionally units clear air objectives — phasing out coal by 2035 and pure gasoline by 2045 and decreasing greenhouse gasoline emissions and placing $2 million a 12 months from electrical clients towards funding Prairie State’s decommissioning prices.

The governor’s new language would create a job power to research carbon seize and sequestration, in addition to debt financing choices, for Prairie State and the municipalities with possession stakes within the crops.

The carbon seize course of, which was requested by legislators the place the crops are situated, traps carbon dioxide emissions created when burning coal or different fossil fuels or whereas producing metal or cement. It compresses the emissions and shops them underground, in keeping with Nationwide Grid, a multinational electrical and gasoline utility.

The destiny of the Prairie State coal plant, which is owned by municipal utilities in Winnetka, Naperville, Batavia and dozens of different cities throughout the state, was one of many closing sticking factors throughout negotiations on an vitality invoice within the waning days of the legislative session final month.

Some lawmakers known as for Pritzker to maintain the plant open. However Pritzker nixed exempting Prairie State from the aim of eliminating coal.

“An exemption for the nation’s seventh largest polluter stays unacceptable to the Governor, in addition to the almost 50 legislators which have indicated they won’t assist a invoice that does so,” the memo reads. “The Governor stands able to signal this invoice ought to the Normal Meeting select to move it subsequent week in Springfield.”

The proposed new invoice language additionally calls on the Illinois Commerce Fee to start an investigation into how ratepayer funds have been utilized in connection to a Deferred Prosecution Settlement reached with ComEd in a bribery scandal involving former Home Speaker Michael Madigan.

Within the settlement, ComEd was accused of sending $1.3 million to associates of Madigan for doing little or no work all whereas the utility hoped to land Madigan’s assist for laws in Springfield value greater than $150 million to the utility.

The proposed invoice “requires that any funds utilized in furtherance” of what’s within the Deferred Prosecution Settlement be repaid to ratepayers.

Sources mentioned Pritzker was not conscious of one other draft of vitality laws that was additionally despatched out Thursday. Lawmakers in a working group and different stakeholders will meet Friday morning to debate the drafts.

Neither chamber of the Normal Meeting took up vitality laws earlier than they adjourned final week. They plan to return to Springfield subsequent week to vote on the vitality invoice and different laws.

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