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Illinois House on the verge of passing clean energy proposal

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 5:22 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Illinois House is on the verge of passing a landmark clean energy plan as time runs out for several nuclear plants and funding for solar projects. Labor, environmental groups, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker support the latest energy proposal, but will it gain enough support in the house?

Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch was frank in saying this proposal is the only path forward for clean energy. This bill still has the $694 million bailouts for Exelon to keep the remaining nuclear plants open. All private coal plants would close by 2035. A plan this morning would give metro-east-based prairie state and Springfield’s CWLP coal plants $20 million per year from 2026-2035 to help reduce carbon emissions. That is no longer on the table. But the plants must still reduce 45% of the emissions by 2035 and close the plants by 2045.

“The bill also addresses climate change head-on by creating a decarbonization schedule that is aggressive, completely decarbonizing the energy generation sector by 2045 but doing so in an orderly way to ensure that we continue to have the good reliability that Illinoisans count on,” Illinois AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Pat Devaney says.

Senate Bill 2408 creates a $40 million grant program to address social and economic impacts for communities by closing nuclear and fossil fuel plants. Yet, the Exelon plant in Byron is set to close Monday, so the Senate would need to come back to Springfield if this plan moves out of the house.

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