When legislators return to Springfield next week, I hope they address an important but overshadowed issue: energy. This is unfortunate because much is at stake, especially when it comes to our nuclear facilities.
According to an Illinois state report released in January, some of our nuclear facilities are at risk of shutting down, which could cost Illinois thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue and economic impact. The same report said that if just three of its six nuclear facilities close, people could see major increases in wholesale electricity costs including up to $1.2 billion for the region with Ameren customers.
Luckily a solution is on the table and is already supported by our state Sen. James Clayborne. It’s called the Low Carbon Portfolio Standard (House Bill 3293 and Senate Bill 1585) and is designed to help bolster our state’s renewable energy industry while maintaining low-carbon sources of energy such as Illinois’ nuclear energy facilities.
Other energy bills are being considered but they don’t seem to take into account the importance our nuclear facilities. We can’t quickly or simply replace the energy production of three nuclear facilities with windmills and solar panels.
The best way to protect our state’s economy and our environment is to pass the Low Carbon Portfolio Standard.
East St. Louis