PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts: Stop the Exelon Bailout in Illinois

Published November 30, 2016

Legislation Working its Way to Gov. Rauner’s Desk Would Hike Power Bills for Millions of Illinois Residents

The Illinois Legislature is considering a bill pushed by state energy giant Exelon that would funnel billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to the company to keep its nuclear power plants operating for at least another 10 years. The Future Energy Jobs Bill also includes subsidies to the renewable energy industry in Illinois and programs to increase energy efficiency.

The following statements from energy policy and budget experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“While legislators take the hammer and tongs to the Future Energy Jobs Bill every day to try to shape it into something presentable, there is nothing they can do that would somehow turn this corporatist bailout scheme into a worthwhile piece of legislation. SB2814 will kill as many jobs as it ‘saves’ (if not more) and will make Illinois’ electricity less reliable and more expensive. Gov. Rauner should recognize that the residents of Illinois would be best-served by this bill going down to defeat – and if that defeat has to come via his veto pen, then so be it.”

Tim Benson
Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The Exelon bailout is a bad idea that its proponents refuse to let die. The low-carbon portfolio standard proposed by Exelon places a heavy burden on Illinois citizens while guaranteeing increased revenue for the energy company, a clear example of crony capitalism.”

“The proposed mandate would benefit one energy company at the expense of others. The government should not decide winners and losers in any market as part of its energy policy. The ideal approach to energy policy would be to repeal all renewable power standards.”

“Government-mandated energy standards, such as the low carbon portfolio standard, artificially manipulate the energy market and force citizens to pay more than they would in a free market for electricity. The average retail price of electricity in Illinois is already higher than all its neighboring states – and the Exelon bailout would increase electric bills for Illinois households by around $442 to $526 per year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.”

“The Exelon bailout should be dead on arrival in the General Assembly or on the governor’s desk.”

Matthew Glans
Senior Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Even if Illinois didn’t already have a big budget crisis, the legislature should let this bloated, pork-filled bill die the death it deserves. Illinois should cease interfering in energy markets, propping up expensive energy sources with mandates and subsidies at the expense of ratepayers and businesses, and restricting the cheapest forms of energy. It’s time to put the good of the people ahead of the good of big businesses.”

H. Sterling Burnett
Research Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News
[email protected]