Omnibus energy bill stalls again

When Senate President Don Harmon called Senators back to the Capitol for a one-day session on June 15, Senate Republicans were told to expect a vote on an omnibus energy bill that would eliminate coal-powered energy by 2035 and natural gas by 2045.

In addition to closing the Prairie State Energy Campus and Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power facility before the ends of their useful lives, the legislation included another massive bailout for scandal-ridden Excelon/ComEd, which has repeatedly threatened to close nuclear energy plants if the State did not provide significant financial support.

After waiting all day for a negotiated bill to be filed and heard, the Senate abruptly adjourned shortly before 6:00 p.m. after learning that no deal had been reached.

Senator Plummer says that while he is in favor of a cleaner energy future for Illinois, he firmly believes that environmental benchmarks must be balanced with what is best for ratepayers and the labor force.

Over the weekend leading up to the anticipated energy vote, a bipartisan group of 18 Senators and 34 members of the House sent a letter to Gov. Pritzker, urging him not to close the Prairie State Energy Campus and Springfield’s City Water Light and Power facility. A similar letter signed by multiple labor groups was also sent to the Governor, and on June 14 the Illinois Manufacturing Association and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association chimed in with their opposition.

Negotiations are ongoing, and legislators expect to return to Springfield for at least one more day later this summer.

Jason Plummer

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