After getting a glimpse of what an energy package may look like on June 10, State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) is cautioning that the so-called energy reform proposal appears to be a massive bailout that will raise rates on consumers.
Sen. Syverson says while legislation has not been filed yet and the nuances are fluid, the proposed reform package has several concerning attributes for consumers.
“One of the biggest concerns of the reform package is that the proposal has huge subsidies for renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar,” said Sen. Syverson. “The subsidies may be the most lucrative contacts in the nation. The plan also includes subsides, though much smaller, for helping nuclear plants like Byron stay open.”
According to Sen. Syverson, this plan will lead to the largest increase in rates in Illinois history. Ratepayers could end up paying up to 20 percent or more on their monthly utility bills.
“What is disappointing is the fact that we would not need to subsidize our nuclear power plants to keep them open if we were not giving wind and solar so many unnecessary, costly incentives,” said Sen. Syverson. “The result of these promised giveaways is hardworking families and businesses will be on the hook to pay for it.”
Other concerning factors include a proposal to shutdown downstate power plants, including Prairie State Energy Campus and Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power, which will cost thousands of Illinoisans their jobs.
“The closures would also reduce our state’s power capacity, require us to go outside of the state to find power, and ultimately increase consumer prices,” said Sen. Syverson.
The reform package also authorizes an out-of-state company to take private property to build a transmission line. In a practice known as “Eminent Domain,” property owners in the path of the proposed massive transmission line would have no choice but to surrender their property to the company.
Finally, the plan exempts renewable energy investors from any ethics rules that would apply to others in the industry.
“The big question here is why,” said Sen. Syverson. “Many of these operations are owned by private equity firms and it will be almost impossible to track how much these private equity firms are making off homeowners and small businesses under this program. Yet, they are exempting renewable energy from the same ethical regulations as all others in the industry. It doesn’t make sense.”
The State Senate is scheduled to return to the Capitol on June 15 to vote on a proposal.
“This reform proposal is a complete failed attempt to provide Illinois with an affordable and reliable supply of power to Illinois,” said Sen. Syverson. “I’m calling on Democrat lawmakers to focus on an energy policy that provides an affordable and reliable supply of power to Illinois, as opposed to a plan that fuels even more corruption.”