Groups rally at Illinois state capitol in effort to save Byron nuclear plant

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — The ComEd bribery probe is making the work of advocates for the Byron and Dresden nuclear stations harder.

On Friday, the groups rallied at the State Capitol to try and stop the closure of the two facilities.

Exelon says it will retire both plants this year.

The clean energy policies being discussed by lawmakers today would give subsidies to utility companies, but those companies say they need more money to keep nuclear sites in operation.

Some state lawmakers are hesitant to give ComEd additional money, due to the federal corruption probe.

State Sen. Mike Hastings (D-Frankfurt) says workers should be punished.

“The working people shouldn’t be held accountable for the dark cloud cast by a few. Those people who did the bad things, whether it’s at ComEd, they’re going to be held accountable. You can trust me on that,” he said. “We’re going to write an ethics bill that’s going to be very sweeping. It’s going to provide oversight on all the utilities across Illinois, so stuff like that that happened in the past won’t happen again.”

Negotiations over a clean energy bill are still ongoing at the Capitol. Gov. JB Pritzker’s Climate and Consumers First Act has been filed, but legislators are expecting a new, adjusted plan to be filed this weekend.

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