Gov. Rauner and Illinois Businesses Disagree on Energy Bill

Dec 7, 2016

Hundreds of happy Exelon workers jammed into a high school gym near the Quad Cities Wednesday morning.

They turned out to watch Governor Bruce Rauner sign the bill that will save their jobs - at the nuclear plant in Cordova and one in Clinton, in central Illinois.

Rauner told them there was a lot of opposition to the Future Energy Jobs Bill.
 
The bill contains subsidies and other provisions that Exelon says will allow it to keep the two nuclear power plants open - with 800 direct jobs in Cordova and 700 in Clinton, plus thousands more dependent on those workers and their families.

Illinois' business-friendly governor frequently talks about the need to grow the state's economy.

But manufacturers say the energy law Bruce Rauner signed Wednesday will make it harder for them to compete.

The law requires household and large-scale consumers alike to pay a subsidy Exelon will use to fund a pair of nuclear plants.

The Illinois Manufacturer's Association's Mark Denzler says that hike in electric rates will cost some of his members millions of dollars a year.
 
"Certainly for manufacturing companies, energy prices are often the single most expensive cost they have. Even higher than personnel."
 
Denzler says Illinois' relatively low energy prices HAD been seen as a draw.