Writing in today’s suburban Chicago Daily Herald, Madison Czerwinski, executive director of Campaign for a Green Nuclear Deal, warns of the damage to Illinois’s clean energy aspirations should the state’s policymakers fail to agree in time on legislation providing some form of aid to Exelon’s imperiled Byron and Dresden nuclear plants, both of which are slated for closure later this year. (And “in time” in this case means the next few weeks.)
Czerwinski notes in a guest column that despite the executive order signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in January 2019 committing Illinois to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the Paris climate agreement, electricity emissions in the state are up from last year by 36 percent—a number that will only grow in the event an acceptable bill is not forthcoming.
Nuclear herald: “If the Byron and Dresden nuclear plants close in September and November, respectively, they will be replaced by fossil fuels from surrounding states, along with the very same Illinois coal plants Governor Pritzker says he wants to close,” Czerwinski writes. “This will result in an emissions spike of at least 20 million tons in carbon above the current spike, as well as the substantial elimination of clean energy jobs and tax revenue.”