Illinois General Assembly

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Full Text of HR1146  98th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Reliable, clean, and affordable electricity is
3vital to Illinois' economic growth, jobs, and the overall
4interests of its citizens; and
5    WHEREAS, Illinois' nuclear power plants provide over half
6of the State's total electricity generation and are licensed to
7generate affordable electricity for Illinois families and
8businesses for decades into the future; and
9    WHEREAS, Nuclear energy was a prime contributor to Illinois
10having the eighth lowest average price of electricity in the
11United States in 2013, and the State's low-cost energy
12resources give it a significant advantage for attracting and
13retaining businesses of all kinds and provide reliable
14electricity to Illinois families; and
15    WHEREAS, The premature closure of nuclear power plants
16could increase prices for families and businesses; and
17    WHEREAS, Illinois' nuclear power plants provide over 92% of
18Illinois' emissions-free and carbon-free electric generation
19and are the only greenhouse gas (GHG) free source of
20predictable, non-intermittent, and reliable electric
21generation; and



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1    WHEREAS, Illinois' nuclear power plants produce enough
2electricity to power 4 cities the size of the City of Chicago,
324 hours a day, 365 days a year; and
4    WHEREAS, Illinois' nuclear power plants are an enormous
5economic engine for the State, employing more than 5,300
6workers across 43 counties in high-paying jobs that average 36%
7above local wage rates, with a total direct payroll in Illinois
8of $550 million a year; and
9    WHEREAS, Every year, the State's nuclear power plants
10employ an additional 1,300 temporary employees periodically
11throughout the year, which reflects an additional total annual
12payroll of over $200 million; and
13    WHEREAS, The economic activity generated by the 6 Illinois
14nuclear power plants supports more than 13,000 additional jobs
15across virtually every sector of the State's economy, resulting
16in hundreds of millions of dollars in expenditures at thousands
17of local and State businesses; and
18    WHEREAS, The State's nuclear power plants contribute
19nearly $130 million to local property taxes, which are used to
20fund school districts and other community projects, and these
21plants also pay over $26 million in Illinois payroll taxes and



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1$22 million in payments to the Illinois Emergency Management
2Agency; and
3    WHEREAS, According to the United States Department of
4Energy's Energy Information Administration, Illinois'
5investment in nuclear, wind, and solar clean energy resources
6makes it the nation's top producer of emissions-free
7electricity; and
8    WHEREAS, On June 25, 2013, the President of the United
9States ordered the United States Environmental Protection
10Agency to propose GHG regulations for existing power plants by
11no later than June 1, 2014 and to finalize those regulations by
12no later than June 1, 2015; and
13    WHEREAS, Illinois and all other states will be required to
14submit compliance plans to meet the new federal requirements by
15June 1, 2016; and
16    WHEREAS, Nuclear energy has played a substantial role in
17the achievement of GHG emission reduction goals to date, and
18continued operation of Illinois nuclear power plants is vital
19to Illinois' ability to economically meet new federal
20regulations and provides an essential counterbalance to
21emissions from carbon-emitting generating plants, thereby
22allowing the State to maximize its fossil fuel advantage and



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1achieve average GHG emission rate requirements; and
2    WHEREAS, Various industry analysts and consultants,
3academic analyses and studies, and market publications have
4concluded that some Illinois nuclear power plants, like others
5around the country, are at risk of premature shutdown due to a
6variety of electric transmission and economic factors as well
7as the failure of competitive wholesale markets and energy
8policy to recognize nuclear power for its reliability and clean
9energy attributes; the premature shutdown of one or more of
10these valuable assets will most likely cause economic, social,
11reliability, and environmental harm to Illinois families and
12businesses; and
13    WHEREAS, The United States Department of Energy, grid
14operators, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
15commissioners have cautioned that the premature shutdown of
16nuclear power plants could jeopardize both the nation's
17electric reliability and the ability to address climate change;
19    WHEREAS, In November 2013, 4 of the world's preeminent
20climate and energy scientists, Dr. Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie
21Institution for Science, Dr. Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts
22Institute of Technology, Dr. James Hansen of Columbia
23University, and Dr. Tom Wigley of the National Center for



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1Atmospheric Research, released an open letter calling on world
2leaders to support nuclear energy, concluding that "in the real
3world there is no credible path to climate stabilization that
4does not include a substantial role for nuclear power"; and
5    WHEREAS, Closing even a few nuclear power plants could make
6achieving State and national carbon reduction goals difficult
7or impossible; after the January 2012 shutdown of a nuclear
8power plant in California, the state's carbon dioxide output
9increased by 35% in the first year, according to the California
10Air Resources Board, and increased generation costs in the
11state by about $369 million, equivalent to a 15% increase in
12total generation costs, during the 12 months following the
13January 2012 shutdown, according to a working paper issued by
14the Energy Institute at Haas; and
15    WHEREAS, Germany embarked upon an energy policy that was
16designed to eliminate reliance upon nuclear power and, at the
17same time, reduce GHG emissions; however, with the dramatic
18reduction of reliance upon nuclear power in Germany, GHG
19emissions are rising, not falling, while electricity costs have
20skyrocketed; and
21    WHEREAS, It is of the highest importance that the State of
22Illinois preserve its existing clean energy resources as a
23means of complying with federal laws, keeping electricity costs



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1stable and affordable, ensuring grid reliability, and
2continuing its national leadership in the generation of
3reliable and clean energy; therefore, be it
6we urge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, PJM
7Interconnection, LLC, and the Mid-Continent Independent
8Systems Operator to expeditiously adopt market rules and
9policies, including transmission expansion rules and policies,
10that will ensure the continued operation of the existing fleet
11of nuclear power plants in Illinois; and be it further
12    RESOLVED, That we urge the United States Environmental
13Protection Agency (EPA) to immediately adopt rules that treat
14low-carbon resources, like nuclear power plants, equally,
15regardless of age or fuel source; provide flexibility to the
16State; and require actions to secure the continued operations
17at Illinois' nuclear power plants as a compliance mechanism to
18meet any new federal GHG regulations and, further, to adopt
19rules that allow the State to offset and balance emissions from
20fossil fuel electric generation with emissions-free nuclear
21generation; and be it further
22    RESOLVED, That we urge the appropriate State agencies to
23review these impending rules in order to adopt policies to take



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1advantage of this State's leadership in clean energy
2production, to continue to provide thousands of high-paying
3direct and indirect jobs across Illinois, to support hundreds
4of millions of dollars of economic activity for the Illinois
5economy, to encourage continued investment in these assets, to
6provide jobs for the building trades and others, and to provide
7a strong tax base for local communities throughout Illinois;
8and be it further
9    RESOLVED, That in order to take advantage of Illinois'
10clean energy advantage and to position the State to become a
11hub of clean energy production for other states, we must
12further examine existing policies regarding the transmission
13of electricity to other states; and be it further
14    RESOLVED, That we urge the Illinois Commerce Commission to
15prepare a report examining the State's and grid operators'
16ability to expand transmissions to allow Illinois to transport
17clean electricity to other parts of the nation, as well as any
18legislative impediments, and the impact on residential,
19commercial, and industrial electric rates from the premature
20closure of Illinois' nuclear power plants; and be it further
21    RESOLVED, That we urge the Illinois Power Agency to prepare
22a report showing how the premature closure of existing nuclear
23power plants in Illinois will affect reliability and capacity



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1for the Midwest region; and be it further
2    RESOLVED, That we urge the Illinois Environmental
3Protection Agency to prepare a report showing how the premature
4closure of existing nuclear power plants in Illinois will
5affect the societal cost of increased GHG emissions based upon
6the EPA's published societal cost of GHG; and be it further
7    RESOLVED, That we urge the Department of Commerce and
8Economic Opportunity to prepare a report showing how the
9premature closure of existing nuclear power plants in Illinois
10will affect jobs and the economic climate in the affected
11areas; and be it further
12    RESOLVED, That we urge the findings in those reports to
13include potential market-based solutions that will ensure that
14the premature closure of these nuclear power plants does not
15occur and that the dire consequences to the economy, jobs, and
16the environment are averted; and be it further
17    RESOLVED, That we urge the findings from those reports to
18be presented to the General Assembly and the Governor between
19November 15, 2014 and adjournment sine die of the 98th General
20Assembly for consideration and appropriate action; and be it



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1    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
2delivered to Governor Pat Quinn; the Illinois Congressional
3delegation; Administrator of the United States Environmental
4Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy; Acting Chairman of the
5Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Cheryl LaFleur;
6Secretary of the United States Department of Energy, Ernest
7Moniz; President and Chief Executive Officer of PJM
8Interconnection, LLC, Terry Boston; and President and Chief
9Executive Officer of the Mid-Continent Independent Systems
10Operator, John Bear.