Stewart: Energy ‘reforms’ hit consumers with highest rate increase in history

Senate Democrat legislative leaders pushed through the latest version of controversial energy “reforms” Sept. 13, providing huge subsidies for special utility interests at the expense of Illinois consumers and businesses who will have to pay the largest utility rate increase in history, according to State Sen. Brian Stewart (R-Freeport).
“It’s been nearly two weeks since the Governor and Senate Democrat leaders first jammed through energy reforms to promote special utility interests at the expense of tried and true energy providers. Changes have been made to the legislation since then, but I still stand in strong opposition,” Stewart said. “No matter what proponents are claiming, these ‘reforms’ have quite a few poison pills that will ultimately hurt Illinois ratepayers, businesses and consumers by significantly increasing utility rates.”
Passed by the House of Representatives on Sept. 9, Senate Bill 2408 was passed by a 37-17-3 vote of the Senate on Sept. 13. It now moves to Governor’s desk for further action.
The 45th District Senator says Senate Bill 2408 sets in place a structure and a process that will insidiously work against nuclear power plants. It gives lawmakers two bad options: approve huge financial subsidies to wind and solar companies, paid by ratepayers; or start to dismantle the state’s fleet of nuclear power plants.
“Who do you think will be paying for all these special interest subsidies? What is being called the largest utility rate increase in Illinois history will drive more manufacturers and businesses out of Illinois. It will hurt low-income to middle-income homeowners whose power bills will skyrocket,” Stewart said. “And Senate Bill 2408 is not a friend to nuclear energy. I would have strongly supported provisions to protect the Bryon nuclear power plant if they were presented in a stand-alone bill.”

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