FREEPORT – State Sen. Brian Stewart (R-Freeport, 45th District) issued the following statement about the announcement Aug. 27 by Exelon about its proposed closing of its Byron Nuclear Generating Station.
“State leaders must never underestimate the value of the Byron Nuclear Generating Station to the residents of Byron and surrounding communities in Ogle and Winnebago counties. A fixture in the area since September 1985, this facility has been the source of economic pride and well-being for northern Illinois residents, as well as an important source of power for millions in homes and businesses across our region.
We must make state leaders understand how integral the Byron Nuclear Generating Station is to our region’s economy, providing about 800 jobs at the facility. These are professional jobs with pretty specific sets of skills and if the Byron facility closes, many of the employees will need to move to other parts of the state or out of Illinois entirely. And we must consider the countless other businesses these employees support in their communities. There were also about 1,300 regional jobs in 2019 associated with refueling processes.
The Byron facility also provides a strong, steady source of tax revenues – such as $38 million in property taxes annually – to help local governments pay for the services and programs they provide their residents.
Closing the Byron Nuclear Generating Station should never be subjected to partisan policy considerations, and we hope local and state leaders from all political parties and from throughout the state will take time to come tour this facility. We also need to hear from all stakeholders about the impact Exelon’s closure would have on our part of the state.”