Negotiators not confident a deal to save Byron nuclear plant can be reached

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Negotiations over a clean energy policy, whose passage is necessary to save the Byron and Dresden nuclear generating stations from closing this fall, have hit another roadblock.

A coalition of labor groups across the state have told Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker that they cannot find common ground with clean energy advocates.

The majority of the energy deal has been agreed to, in principle, but unions say they are hung up on decarbonization goals.

Exelon plans to close both plants if a state subsidy doesn’t come soon, and has already filed motions to decommission the Byron plant in September.

Climate Jobs Illinois, the labor group coalition, says it is not confident a deal can be reached this summer.

“We’re talking to our affiliates that work in these nuclear facilities literally every day and believe me that the urgency, you know, we know and understand it. We are not saying that we can’t get to a result. What we’re saying is we can’t get to a result in the manner that it’s currently being negotiated,” said Pat DeVaney, of union AFL-CIO.

In total, about 1,500 workers will lose their jobs if the nuclear plants are retired.

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