Illinois Senate advances Low Carbon Portfolio Standard bill

Exelon is one of the supporters of Bill 1585, which would establish a Low Carbon Portfolio Standard in Illinois' energy industry.
Exelon is one of the supporters of Bill 1585, which would establish a Low Carbon Portfolio Standard in Illinois' energy industry. | Contributed photo
The Illinois Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee advanced Senate Bill 1585 on Thursday, establishing a Low Carbon Portfolio Standard (LCPS) for the state.

Supporters said the legislation would provide clean energy, support Illinois nuclear energy facilities and ensure that energy-sector jobs are protected.

“We commend Senator Donne Trotter (D-Dist. 17) for his leadership and the members of the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee in helping to advance this important legislation to position Illinois at the forefront of nationwide efforts to cut carbon emissions while limiting consumer impacts,” Joseph Dominguez, Exelon’s executive vice president of governmental and regulatory affairs and public policy, said. “We support the LCPS because it would reduce harmful emissions, provide for the development of additional renewable energy, and help keep electricity reliable and affordable for Illinois families and businesses.”

The existence of an LCPS would require companies such as ComEd and Ameren to purchase low-carbon energy credits equal to 70 percent of the electricity burned in the distribution system. Being a technology-neutral solution, the program allows energy sources that are not carbon-related, such as wind, solar, hydro, clean coal and nuclear, to compete on a level playing field. The proposed legislation has widespread support among legislators from both parties and from business and labor leaders.

“This legislation represents an all-of-the-above energy strategy that would make Illinois the national leader in low-carbon energy,” Donne said. “In addition to supporting our nuclear plants and the many benefits they provide, the Low Carbon Portfolio Standard will create opportunities to continue to grow other low-carbon energy resources in the state, such as wind, solar, hydro and clean coal.”

Additionally, the LCPS proposal includes several protections for consumers, including a price cap that maxes out at 2.015 percent, or about $2 per month for the average Illinois residential electricity customer, and a separate provision that would provide a rebate via direct bill credit for customers if wholesale electricity prices were to exceed a specified benchmark.

“Nuclear plants in Illinois support thousands of good-paying, full-time, permanent jobs,” Michael Carrigan, president of Illinois' AFL-CIO chapter, said. “But possible nuclear plant closures put many of those jobs at risk. We support the Low Carbon Portfolio Standard because it would support these existing low-carbon energy resources and support the development of new ones, leading to additional new jobs.”

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