New Exelon Communications Manager Discusses Exelon Year After Legislation

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The new Communications Manager at the Clinton Power Station presented the Clinton Rotary Club with an update on how things are going since the signing of legislation about a year ago.


 


Gabe Goldsmith has been the communications manager for the station for about a month now. He says it has been a lot to take in but is excited about the opportunity.


 


At the Tuesday afternoon Rotary meeting, he calls the plant’s mentality, full speed ahead.


 



 


Because the plant is running at near capacity, Goldsmith indicates the upcoming outage in the spring is going to bring the plant up to full capacity.


 



 


Earlier in the month, the power station completed an emergency preparedness drill. Goldsmith says they passed that with flying colors.


 



 


Exelon has a great relationship with the Clinton and DeWitt County community and Goldsmith says they will continue to maintain those relationships. 


 



 


Goldsmith indicates since the passage of the energy legislation last year, the plant has re-hired or hired 150-plus employees to positions that were reduced because of the anticipated closure. 

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New Exelon Communications Manager Discusses Exelon Year After Legislation

EDITORIAL:

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Last year, Illinois enacted a foresighted law designed to provide cleaner air, more jobs and lower energy bills for the state’s residents. Now, a company that owns coal-fired Illinois power plants is pushing to weaken clear-air rules in a way that would undermine those goals. The Illinois Pollution Control Board should take a deep breath and refuse to go along.

EDITORIAL

A vote for this idea would be a big step backward. The state’s air, including in Chicago, would get dirtier and the transition away from a coal would be detoured.

Last year, stakeholders ranging from environmentalists to utilities laboriously finished hammering out an agreement that led to the Illinois Future Jobs Act, a law designed to improve residents’ health and help make Illinois a leader in renewable energy — all while reining in utility bills.

Since then, however, two utilities have engaged in what amounts to a counterattack.

First, the Downstate utility Ameren, which supplies gas and electricity to central and southern Illinois, persuaded the Illinois Commerce Commission to let it lower its energy efficiency goals.

Now, Dynegy Energy, which owns eight coal plants in central and southern Illinois, wants the Illinois Pollution Control Board to scrap the limits on the rate of pollution each of its plants can emit. Dynegy, which is also reported to be seeking rate increases in the Legislature, proposes instead that existing annual caps apply to its plants as a group, which would allow it give its dirtier plants more leeway to belch out soot and other pollutants that cause smog and acid rain. The proposal comes as Dynegy faces a deadline it agreed to in 2006 to reduce air pollution.

In classic example of the problems with revolving-door government, Dynegy has worked with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency — a former lobbyist for a trade association that represents Dynegy — to draw up the plan. According to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office, the revised pollution caps would provide a financial incentive to Dynegy to actually increase pollution if they chose.

Among other issues at a hearing Thursday, Dynegy will ask the Illinois Pollution Control Board to rush through the decision-making process. But there is no need to hurry this through without full input and careful consideration. Illinois does not face any shortage of power generation capacity.

The environment is under regulatory assault from the Trump administration, which is intent on chopping away protections. As a result, states must become even more vigilant about protecting their air and water. Plans such as Dynegy’s should be rejected.

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.

EDITORIAL:

EDITORIAL: Don’t let energy company short-circuit Illinois law

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Is one of the best new energy laws in the nation really about to unravel this quickly?

Last December, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Future Energy Jobs Act. Hammered out over more than two years and supported by a wide variety of usually feuding interest groups, the law enhances conservation and renewable energy, preserves nuclear energy production and provides hundreds of millions of dollars for low-income communities. It puts Illinois at the forefront of wise energy policy.

EDITORIAL

But Ameren Illinois, which supplies gas and electricity to central and southern Illinois, already wants to rewrite the deal to its benefit. Ameren wants to lower its energy efficiency goal over the first four years by 27 percent — yet still pocket a multimillion-dollar performance bonus that goes with exceeding the goal.

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, who helped craft the legislation, gets it right when she calls this a “sellout” by Ameren, which was at the table when the legislation was negotiated. Ameren already had negotiated a lower target for itself than ComEd is getting, yet ComEd intends to comply with the law without complaining. When it meets in September, the Illinois Commerce Commission should nix Ameren’s request.

Improving energy efficiency is a key part of the Future Energy Jobs Act, which went into effect on June 1. An earlier efficiency standard set in 2007 has helped to give Illinois the lowest power rates in the Midwest. Moreover, energy efficiency is one of the best ways to reduce climate-changing emissions from burning fossil fuels. And 90,000 people in Illinois already work in the energy-efficiency economy in Illinois, including engineers, architects, retailers, manufacturing employees and others. Supporters say the new law will add another 7,000 jobs and inject $700 million on average into the Illinois economy every year through 2030.

Ameren says it would prefer spending money on helping low-income communities. But aid to low-income communities already is an important feature of the Future Energy Jobs Act.

Ameren also claims it still intends to eventually meet the law’s full energy-efficiency target. But that’s not an excuse for trying to wiggle out of the requirements in the new law right out of the box. If the other entities that were partners in the negotiations over the Future Energy Jobs Act start trying to cut better deals for themselves, the expected benefits to consumers and the environment will be in peril.

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.

EDITORIAL: Don’t let energy company short-circuit Illinois law

EDITORIAL: Don’t let energy company short-circuit Illinois law

http://ift.tt/2fCCtXk

Is one of the best new energy laws in the nation really about to unravel this quickly?

Last December, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Future Energy Jobs Act. Hammered out over more than two years and supported by a wide variety of usually feuding interest groups, the law enhances conservation and renewable energy, preserves nuclear energy production and provides hundreds of millions of dollars for low-income communities. It puts Illinois at the forefront of wise energy policy.

EDITORIAL

But Ameren Illinois, which supplies gas and electricity to central and southern Illinois, already wants to rewrite the deal to its benefit. Ameren wants to lower its energy efficiency goal over the first four years by 27 percent — yet still pocket a multimillion-dollar performance bonus that goes with exceeding the goal.

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, who helped craft the legislation, gets it right when she calls this a “sellout” by Ameren, which was at the table when the legislation was negotiated. Ameren already had negotiated a lower target for itself than ComEd is getting, yet ComEd intends to comply with the law without complaining. When it meets in September, the Illinois Commerce Commission should nix Ameren’s request.

Improving energy efficiency is a key part of the Future Energy Jobs Act, which went into effect on June 1. An earlier efficiency standard set in 2007 has helped to give Illinois the lowest power rates in the Midwest. Moreover, energy efficiency is one of the best ways to reduce climate-changing emissions from burning fossil fuels. And 90,000 people in Illinois already work in the energy-efficiency economy in Illinois, including engineers, architects, retailers, manufacturing employees and others. Supporters say the new law will add another 7,000 jobs and inject $700 million on average into the Illinois economy every year through 2030.

Ameren says it would prefer spending money on helping low-income communities. But aid to low-income communities already is an important feature of the Future Energy Jobs Act.

Ameren also claims it still intends to eventually meet the law’s full energy-efficiency target. But that’s not an excuse for trying to wiggle out of the requirements in the new law right out of the box. If the other entities that were partners in the negotiations over the Future Energy Jobs Act start trying to cut better deals for themselves, the expected benefits to consumers and the environment will be in peril.

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.

EDITORIAL: Don’t let energy company short-circuit Illinois law

EDITORIAL: Don’t let energy company short-circuit Illinois law

http://ift.tt/2fCCtXk

Is one of the best new energy laws in the nation really about to unravel this quickly?

Last December, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Future Energy Jobs Act. Hammered out over more than two years and supported by a wide variety of usually feuding interest groups, the law enhances conservation and renewable energy, preserves nuclear energy production and provides hundreds of millions of dollars for low-income communities. It puts Illinois at the forefront of wise energy policy.

EDITORIAL

But Ameren Illinois, which supplies gas and electricity to central and southern Illinois, already wants to rewrite the deal to its benefit. Ameren wants to lower its energy efficiency goal over the first four years by 27 percent — yet still pocket a multimillion-dollar performance bonus that goes with exceeding the goal.

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, who helped craft the legislation, gets it right when she calls this a “sellout” by Ameren, which was at the table when the legislation was negotiated. Ameren already had negotiated a lower target for itself than ComEd is getting, yet ComEd intends to comply with the law without complaining. When it meets in September, the Illinois Commerce Commission should nix Ameren’s request.

Improving energy efficiency is a key part of the Future Energy Jobs Act, which went into effect on June 1. An earlier efficiency standard set in 2007 has helped to give Illinois the lowest power rates in the Midwest. Moreover, energy efficiency is one of the best ways to reduce climate-changing emissions from burning fossil fuels. And 90,000 people in Illinois already work in the energy-efficiency economy in Illinois, including engineers, architects, retailers, manufacturing employees and others. Supporters say the new law will add another 7,000 jobs and inject $700 million on average into the Illinois economy every year through 2030.

Ameren says it would prefer spending money on helping low-income communities. But aid to low-income communities already is an important feature of the Future Energy Jobs Act.

Ameren also claims it still intends to eventually meet the law’s full energy-efficiency target. But that’s not an excuse for trying to wiggle out of the requirements in the new law right out of the box. If the other entities that were partners in the negotiations over the Future Energy Jobs Act start trying to cut better deals for themselves, the expected benefits to consumers and the environment will be in peril.

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.

EDITORIAL: Don’t let energy company short-circuit Illinois law

EDITORIAL: Don’t let energy company short-circuit Illinois law

http://ift.tt/2fCCtXk

Is one of the best new energy laws in the nation really about to unravel this quickly?

Last December, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Future Energy Jobs Act. Hammered out over more than two years and supported by a wide variety of usually feuding interest groups, the law enhances conservation and renewable energy, preserves nuclear energy production and provides hundreds of millions of dollars for low-income communities. It puts Illinois at the forefront of wise energy policy.

EDITORIAL

But Ameren Illinois, which supplies gas and electricity to central and southern Illinois, already wants to rewrite the deal to its benefit. Ameren wants to lower its energy efficiency goal over the first four years by 27 percent — yet still pocket a multimillion-dollar performance bonus that goes with exceeding the goal.

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, who helped craft the legislation, gets it right when she calls this a “sellout” by Ameren, which was at the table when the legislation was negotiated. Ameren already had negotiated a lower target for itself than ComEd is getting, yet ComEd intends to comply with the law without complaining. When it meets in September, the Illinois Commerce Commission should nix Ameren’s request.

Improving energy efficiency is a key part of the Future Energy Jobs Act, which went into effect on June 1. An earlier efficiency standard set in 2007 has helped to give Illinois the lowest power rates in the Midwest. Moreover, energy efficiency is one of the best ways to reduce climate-changing emissions from burning fossil fuels. And 90,000 people in Illinois already work in the energy-efficiency economy in Illinois, including engineers, architects, retailers, manufacturing employees and others. Supporters say the new law will add another 7,000 jobs and inject $700 million on average into the Illinois economy every year through 2030.

Ameren says it would prefer spending money on helping low-income communities. But aid to low-income communities already is an important feature of the Future Energy Jobs Act.

Ameren also claims it still intends to eventually meet the law’s full energy-efficiency target. But that’s not an excuse for trying to wiggle out of the requirements in the new law right out of the box. If the other entities that were partners in the negotiations over the Future Energy Jobs Act start trying to cut better deals for themselves, the expected benefits to consumers and the environment will be in peril.

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.

EDITORIAL: Don’t let energy company short-circuit Illinois law