‘Clean Energy Deal’ dies in Illinois Senate

Exelon threatens to shutter Byron Nuclear Generating Station

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Illinois Senate returned to Springfield to approve a highly anticipated Clean Energy Deal on Tuesday, but instead, it fell apart.

The largest coal plant in the state wanted to stay open beyond 2035, and this morning the Governor’s office gave them their wish.

A new plan would have extended the life of Prairie State and CWLP coal plants until 2045 if they can capture and bury carbon gasses deep underground.

But then, Senate sources say natural gas providers began making similar demands, arguing they should be allowed to stay open if they can do the same.

Green energy groups like the Sierra Club are growing frustrated with the gridlock.

“It would be deeply concerning if we can’t get this done this week,” said Jack Darwin, of the Sierra Club. “There’s so much support outside this building and so much around it for communities that are facing the loss of coal plants and need to plan for something that comes after that.”

A last ditch effort to pass a “skinny deal” also fell apart.

The Senate was considering a move to require nuclear plants to stay open, like the one in Byron, and extend funding for solar projects, but they couldn’t find the votes.

Several senators left the chamber grumbling that they made the trip to Springfield for nothing.

The “Clean Energy Bill” would have created a bill of rights for power plant workers who lost their jobs. It would offer them career counseling, financial planning services, and state-run health insurance plans, and require state agencies to consider them for government jobs.

The House could pass an energy bill on Wednesday.

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