Legislators plead Clinton nuke case with Rauner

Tom Kacich

SPRINGFIELD — Not only would the closing of the Clinton nuclear plant west of Champaign damage the central Illinois economy, legislators said Thursday, but it also would result in higher electric bills.

About a dozen community leaders from DeWitt County and the surrounding area met Thursday morning with Gov. Bruce Rauner at the governor's Capitol office, explaining how the loss of 700 jobs and the nuclear plant's assessed valuation would be harmful to the region.

Rauner was unavailable for comment but state Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forysth, said Rauner listened and said he is studying a Senate bill that would give Exelon, the owner of the Clinton plant and a second endangered nuclear plant near the Quad Cities, financial assistance to continue operating the units.

"It's a large bill and they're looking at it," Mitchell said of the 613-page proposal. "That's all that we could hope for."