Future Energy Jobs bill also supports renewable energy, energy efficiency, and invests in low-income communities
“When this legislation was originally drafted, it was a Christmas tree loaded with special interest goodies that would have skyrocketed energy costs on families and businesses across the state,” said Governor Rauner. “So we needed to find a balance, because I was unwilling to gamble with these communities, gamble with thousands of good paying jobs and gamble with our energy diversity. While this legislation isn’t perfect, it allows us to protect jobs, ratepayers and taxpayers.”
Before Governor Rauner’s involvement, the legislature was poised to pass a massive bill with demand rates that could have skyrocketed energy bills for consumers. Governor Rauner laid out a pathway for a deal with his statement of principles which outlined any energy agreement should preserve jobs while protecting ratepayers and taxpayers.
“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 the Quad Cities and Clinton for your persistence, your patience, and hard work,” Governor Rauner added.
“A joint study conducted by the Illinois Commerce Commission, the Illinois Power Agency, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity found that allowing several nuclear plants to prematurely close would cause our electric rates to increase by as much as 26% during stress events while grid reliability and capacity would significantly decrease. Closing the plants would also cost Illinois approximately 7,800 jobs and $1.8 billion in economic activity,” said House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Burr Ridge). “At the end of the day, had we failed to take action Illinois and Illinois consumers would suffer, and our electric rates would get dramatically out of hand.”
"Gov. Rauner continues to be an advocate for downstate Illinois, and without his help, this bill would still be languishing in committee and thousands of good paying jobs would now be lost," said State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet), who represents Clinton. "Moreover, this new law protects energy consumers from massive rate hikes, ensures reliable, clean, and cheap power for years to come, prevents the construction of more power lines, and, as mentioned, protects a vital sector of Illinois' economy. I was honored to host then candidate-Rauner for a tour of the Clinton plant back in 2014 - and now, to have a Governor who spends so much time in downstate Illinois and cares about what is important to us is incredibly refreshing."