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7 days ago
Future Energy Jobs Act’s Nuclear Bailout
We’re here today to discuss a rarely talked about reason why your electric bill is higher than it should be. The Exelon nuclear power bailout that is found in the Future Energy Jobs Act, also known as FEJA.
I’m Dave Kraft, Director of Nuclear Energy Information Service in Chicago, (NEIS). We were one of a handful of environmental organizations that strongly opposed the Exelon nuclear bailouts for a period of four years from 2013 to 2016
So what is the history of FEJA?
In 2016 legislation was passed that lead to a large job creating expansion of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Illinois but it came at a price and that price was in exchange for a 2.3 Billion dollar bailout for three money losing Exelon reactors in Illinois. This was the greatest legislated transfer of wealth from Illinois rate payers to Exelon shareholders in history.
How did this happen?
In late 2013 Exelon announced that as many as 5 of its reactors in Illinois were losing money and that they would have close unless they receive some sort of rate relief from somewhere. This of course got the workers to put pressure on their local Mayors of the communities around the reactors who then put pressure on their legislators to do down to Springfield and do something to save the jobs and save the reactors. This panic peddling is what lead to the legislative ‘sausage’ that resulted with FEJA where everybody got something but to be sure that Exelon got everything it wanted, a 2.3 Billion dollar bailout.
What we have found over time though is that with FEJA nuclear power is just as invisible as the radiation that it produces. While everyone is quick to talk about the positive benefits and they’re undeniable in terms of energy efficiency and renewables no one is discussing the negative impacts and the cost that FEJA has cost by nuclear power. Let’s go through some of these. The Exelon bailout is going to cause rate payers 2.3 Billion dollars over a 10 year period and the interesting thing about that is that Exelon originally only wanted a 5 year period but again the legislative ‘sausage’ making with Governor Rauner and with Speaker Madigan resulted in a 10 year extension of this bailout. This created something called a ZES, which stands for a Zero Emission Standard. You will find this on your electric bill and you will find that the cost of this ZES program is many times greater than the cost of the three other environmental programs mentioned in the same portion of your electric bill. The other thing is that nuclear bailouts seem to represent a new business model for Exelon Corporation and for other nuclear utilities around the country. A Craines’ business report indicated that of the 2017 revenue increases that were noted by Exelon 38 cents per share out of the 41 cents per share increase where attributable to the bailout. So this is a new business model for Exelon Corporation.
In addition this ten year operation for reactors that should have closed at Quad Cities and Clinton (Illinois), are going to result in the creation in an additional 1,000 tons of high level radioactive waste added to the already 10,000 tons that Illinois has and all of this waste has no place to go so this is waste that shouldn’t have been produced but will be because of FEJA. That leads to very important point and that Nuclear Power is not clean and it is not clean because of the waste that it produces.
Now one of the things we didn’t get from FEJA is very important it’s called “Just Transitions” and Just Transitions is a program which anticipates that reactors will close and that the communities have to prepare for that by putting aside money for job creation to protect essential public services when the tax base is reduced. NEIS had supported that program as did a few other environmental groups but this did not appear in the FEJA legislation so this is a very important omission on the part of FEJA that may come back to haunt us when Exelon comes back for more bailouts in the future and what about that future. In our next video we are going to talk about how FEJA in Illinois has spawned an epidemic of nuclear bailouts around the country, not just in Illlinois, we will take that up in some detail. We ask you to watch for that in the future. In the meantime, we would like you take the sage advice of the Rock group ‘The Who’ and remember that “We won’t get fooled again!”youtube.com ... See MoreSee Less
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1 week ago
Please consider signing this petition.
Melissa has been campaigning for years to clean up the Santa Susana Field Lab, the former nuclear testing site where the Woolsey Fire reportedly started. She believes that living close to the site is what caused her daughter and 50+ other children to develop cancer, and is concerned that smoke coming from the site today could contain dangerous radioactive chemicals.
Join her campaign to get the Santa Susana Field Lab cleaned up once and for all: change.org/SantaSusana. ... See MoreSee Less