Nukewatch Quarterly Fall 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — A May 29 voice vote of the Illinois House passed pro-nuclear resolution HR-1146, a bill that would provide massive subsidies to the state’s unprofitable nuclear power reactors and curb the growth of truly “clean,” renewable energy sources. Watchdog groups have reason to believe the bill, introduced by House Speaker Michael Madigan, was largely written by Illinois nuclear utility giant Exelon Corporation as part of a larger effort organized on the national level by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
“This Resolution is not just a pro-nuclear resolution. It is an overt effort to destroy renewable energy statewide, a way to keep dirty coal plants running, and a way to continue and make permanent the outdated system of ‘centralized baseload power,’” said David Kraft, Director of the Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) in Chicago.
Exelon is now investing $12-15 million per year, along with other ALEC members, in a pro-nuclear industry front group called Nuclear Matters. ALEC’s July 2014 Energy Task Force Meeting, where the Environmental Protection Agency’s new carbon rules were a focus of discussion, included a presentation from Nuclear Matters. In the last two years, ALEC has focused on attacking renewable energy standards in at least sixteen states, but, despite its massive financial investments, these efforts it has been largely unsuccessful. It did succeed in freezing the Ohio renewable energy standard for two years earlier this year. The Progressive magazine has launched an “ALEC Exposed” campaign, with more information available at www.progressive.org. — NEIS Press Release, May 29; Energy and Policy Institute Briefing, July 2014