Trimmed down Exelon bill to be debated in Springfield


DAVENPORT, Iowa. (KWQC) — Hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in property taxes are on the line in Springfield. Lawmakers are expected to take up a trimmed down version of a bill to keep the Quad Cities nuclear power plant in Cordova, Illinois open. Plant owner Exelon said it needs the legislation to keep the Cordova facility operational. The bill includes $285 million in subsidies.
Consumer groups said the bill will whack consumer’s wallets.

The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce said the trimmed down version of this bill has a better shot of passing. Exelon has said it will close the Quad Cities nuclear power plant and another one in Clinton, Illinois unless Illinois lawmakers pass this bill. Exelon told us in the past that it has filed pre-shutdown paperwork with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

A bill to save the Cordova power station stalled this year as the massive budget fight in Springfield consumed lawmakers’ attention. Before Thanksgiving a new bill was introduced and then had all kinds of language added on. There was talk of coal power plant subsidies and changing the way your power bills are calculated. The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce said those big additions have been scrapped. Director of Government Affairs Henry Marquard said slimming down the bill improves its chance of passing.

“It scales back some of the coal incentives, it scales back the rate demand, it still includes a lot of low-carbon things, apart from saving our two nuclear plants and making sure nuclear energy is viable,” said Marquard.

Marquard said he’ll testify in front of the House energy committee Tuesday morning. Consumer groups are lobbying hard against the bill. The BEST coalition released a study Monday estimating the bill would cost Illinois rate payers $16 billion over 20 years. Environmental groups dispute that figure. They said the bill’s energy efficiency changes would save ratepayers seven billion. Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Springfield Tuesday.

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