New clean energy bill could pave way to saving Byron nuclear plant

Local News

(WTVO) — An Illinois organization that represents union workers calls on the state’s general assembly to look toward the future.

The AFL-CIO wants lawmakers to pass the ‘Climate Union Jobs Act.’

If passed, the group says the act would employ hundreds of thousands of union laborers. They would work to build a 100% clean energy economy in Illinois by the 2030’s.

The bill would also preserve the state’s nuclear fleet. Last year, Exelon announced it would retire the Byron station in August.

A mechanic at the plant says the closure would have a significant impact on his family’s life and the community.

“My wife is a school teacher at Byron High School, which receives a large percentage of its funding from the taxes the plant pays. The station is extremely important to the community. Without it, Ogle County would be a desolate area, businesses would struggle, and people would leave,” said Ben Busser.

A recent study by NIU estimates the total contribution of the plan to the Ogle County community is more than 15% of the county’s GDP.

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