U of Chicago professor: IL Zero Emissions Credit Exelon bailout 'short-sighted,' despite challenge dismissal
Following the dismissal of lawsuits brought against the State of Illinois by power generators and electricity consumers who claimed the Future Energy Jobs Act deceptively supplies markets in favor of energy company Exelon, Steve Cicala, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, says the state's policy is short-sighted and will be problematic for taxpayers.
Saying the law could both simultaneously be a subsidy designed to prop up two Illinois nuclear power plants and a legitimate attempt to reduce carbon emissions, a Chicago federal judge has pulled the plug on attempts by a group of power generators and electricity consumers to challenge a recent state law the plaintiffs claimed unconstitutionally used “green energy” goals as a pretext to rig the wholesale electricity generation and supply markets in favor of electricity generation giant Exelon.
Environmental Law & Policy Center, others step into court fight over IL 'Zero Emissions Credit' program
Even as Illinois state electricity regulators have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging a state law unconstitutionally rigs the wholesale electricity generation and supply markets in favor of electricity generation giant Exelon, a prominent environmental activist organization has also stepped into the court fight, asking the court to allow it to defend the law’s renewable energy requirements, which it says the lawsuit also threatens.
Two months since Illinois lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner signed off on a bailout bill they said was needed to ensure the viability of two Exelon nuclear electricity plants, two lawsuits filed in federal court have challenged the constitutionality of the legislation, alleging the law effectively rigs in Exelon’s favor wholesale electricity generation and supply markets, resulting in a a windfall for Exelon over the next 10 years, paid for by Illinois businesses and households.
Illinois' bailout bill for two Exelon power plants unique, unprecedented, needed more review, attorney says
In early December, Democrats and Republicans in Springfield, including Gov. Bruce Rauner, agreed on an energy bailout bill in the Legislature to keep two Exelon nuclear generator plants operating at a cost of as much as $4.54 per month per Illinois ratepayer. But a Chicago lawyer who has advised industrial businesses and governments on energy-related issues for more than two decades said the 503-page bailout bill, which rewrote major provisions of both the Illinois Public Utilities Act and the Illinois Power Agency Act, should have received a more thorough review before becoming law.