Farm Bureau Lobbies on 'Clean Energy' Bill
Thank you to everyone who contacted their State Senator and State Representative asking them to vote ‘NO’ on a “clean energy” package.
In June, the Senate returned to the State House with the intention of dealing with the “clean energy” standards for electric generation in the future. However, the Senate adjourned without taking action on the issue. It is clear that this is not the end of the issue and negotiations will continue.
During the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee, the lead Senate negotiator Senator Bill Cunningham explained to the committee that there was a difference of opinion on how to handle the “decarbonization” of coal and natural gas fired generation plants. On one side, the Governor and the environmental community wanted a complete shutdown of all coal and gas generation facilities by 2035, and on the other side, organized labor groups were wanting the ability to shut down the least efficient facilities by 2035 but allow more modern plants like Prairie State Energy Campus and the municipal power plant in Springfield to remain operational until 2045 with severe CO2 capturing upgrades. There were also some other issues that arose in the last few days dealing with project labor agreements in the energy industry.
In his post-session press conference, Senate President Don Harmon summed up the outlook on this issue when he stated, “We have a much, much better chance of passing a major bill when we have three ingredients: when we have the support of environmental activists; when we have the support of organized labor; and when we have the support of Democrats and Republicans. We are this close [holding up his fingers and showing a small gap] to reaching that agreement, and I am confident that we will get that done. There are still some points of contention between two critical constituencies, between labor and the environmental activists. I believe they’re going to continuing to meet as early as this evening to try to work out those differences and the Senate stands ready, willing, and able to return as soon as an agreement is reached.”
Illinois Farm Bureau continues to OPPOSE any “clean energy” package that includes granting eminent domain powers to private power companies, which takes away the private property rights of landowners and the closing of coal power plants prematurely, increasing everyone’s energy costs. Based on the latest released drafts from the negotiations, all the “clean energy” packages contained these provisions which Farm Bureau opposes.