Thousands of Illinoisans are attending rallies today at Riverdale High School in the Quad Cities region and Clinton High School to celebrate the signing of the Future Energy Jobs Bill by Governor Rauner. The Clinton and Quad Cities plants, two of the state’s reliable and efficient nuclear power plants, are now planned to operate for at least another 10 years as a result of the legislation.
“The Future Energy Jobs bill protects taxpayers, ratepayers, and the good-paying jobs at the Clinton and Quad Cities’ plants,” said Governor Rauner. “This bill ensures we don't gamble with thousands of good paying jobs and gamble with our energy diversity. Thank you to those who negotiated in good faith to help make this bill a reality, and most importantly, thank you to the people of Quad Cities and Clinton for your persistence, your patience and hard work.”
“This historic legislation will protect the state’s primary source of clean energy while saving thousands of good jobs at our plants and providing millions of dollars in low-income assistance, as well as job training in communities that need it most,” said Chris Crane, president and CEO of Exelon. “We appreciate the leadership of Governor Rauner and legislative leaders for their roles in positioning Illinois to be a national leader in clean energy, job growth and economic development.”
“As a graduate of Riverdale High School and an employee of Quad Cities Station, I would like to thank Governor Rauner and state elected leaders for securing the future of my community and ensuring the long-term operation of the plant where I built my career,” said Drew Griffiths, shift manager, Exelon Generation. “On behalf of all of my colleagues, I’d like to express my gratitude for protecting our state’s clean energy future and for keeping Illinois at the forefront of zero-carbon energy generation.”
“This is a big win for consumers,” said Dave Kolata, executive director of the Citizens Utility Board. “It’s Economics 101 – reducing demand for electricity also reduces the price. Illinois already enjoys some of the lowest rates in the nation because of energy efficiency, and this bill will drive further savings to homeowners.”
“With this legislation, Illinois will now be able to compete head-to-head for clean energy jobs with any other state in the nation -- and win,” said Jennifer Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council. “The Future Energy Jobs Bill fixes and improves the broken Renewable Portfolio Standard, leading to $12 billion to $15 billion in private investment and the development of at least 3,000 megawatts of new solar and 1,300 megawatts of wind energy— enough to power nearly 1 million homes.”
The Future Energy Jobs Bill secures competitive electric rates for Illinois homes and businesses, protects and creates good-paying jobs, and spurs billions of dollars in investment in clean energy and energy efficiency across the state. It also levels the playing field with solar and wind energy by valuing the zero-carbon energy produced by the nuclear facilities. Ninety percent of the zero-carbon energy produced in Illinois comes from the state’s nuclear facilities.
The bill also includes protections that limit the impact of the legislation to 25 cents per month for the average ComEd residential customer and to all business classes at 1.3 percent compared with their 2015 rates. It also will provide businesses flexible options for capturing savings through expanded energy efficiency initiatives.
The bill received broad support from more than 200 business, labor, environmental, faith-based and other groups, including the AFL-CIO, IBEW, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Illinois Retail Merchants Association. It also had support from members of the Clean Jobs Coalition, including the Citizens Utility Board, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund and others.