Illinois congressmen lead bipartisan support for nuclear energy

Illinois congressman leads bipartisan support for nuclear energy
Illinois congressman leads bipartisan support for nuclear energy | Courtesy of

A bipartisan group of Congress members from Illinois is demanding that Gov. Bruce Rauner and other leaders in the state's House and Senate keep operations running in the state's nuclear energy facilities.

Republican Reps. Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger led the effort by sending letters last week to Gov. Rauner and other officials. This action was taken in light of reports that reveal how dependent the state’s economy is on nuclear energy. If the nuclear energy facilities close, approximately 8,000 Illinois residents would lose their jobs. Should just three of the state's nuclear plants close, Illinois would lose approximately $1.8 billion in yearly economic benefits as 48 percent of the state receives electricity from the nuclear energy.

Exelon Corp. previously informed Illinois officials that three nuclear energy plants -- Clinton, Byron and Quad Cities -- may need to close because of economic strain. The Illinois General Assembly requested that several different state entities report on the economic impact of closing the nuclear plants. The report revealed that closing the plants would negatively impact the economy and reduce the reliability of electricity.

“Unfortunately, this energy source, along with our state’s economic recovery, is in jeopardy if state and federal policymakers do not act soon,” the federal lawmakers said in their letter. “A number of our nuclear plants are at risk of premature closure because of economic and market challenges, including historically low natural gas prices and policies that fail to recognize the environmental and reliability benefits of nuclear energy.”

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