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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 13 , 2021 

Chicago – On a day that saw the Illinois legislature approve another $694 million in nuclear power bailout money to profitable Exelon corporation, safe-energy activists in cities all over the country conducted actions and wrote to their members of Congress, urging them to remove an estimated $46 billion  in proposed nuclear subsidies from the upcoming Reconciliation legislation. Read more

Say  “NO!” to Exelon Nuclear Bailouts!

  • $694 million from Illinois Legislature expected to pass on Monday, Sept. 13
  • As much as $25 BILLION could go to Exelon from Congress

On Monday Sept. 13th the Illinois Legislature and Gov. Pritzker are expected to give yet another state bailout to fund corporate welfare queen Exelon’s money-losing Byron and Dresden nuclear reactors.

Some time that week Congress is expected to vote on the Budget Reconciliation and Infrastructure legislation in Washington.  Nuclear lobbyists have been very active arranging for your pockets to be picked there too, once again.

We’re told we can’t afford a $15 minimum wage; can’t provide universal health care during a pandemic; and don’t have enough money to build new renewable energy sources to replace nuclear at a time of “Climate Code Red.”  Yet, they can find money to bailout profitable nuclear corporations like Exelon.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Call Sens. Durbin [202-224-2152] and Duckworth [202-224-2854]; and tell them “No more nuclear bailouts! Fund renewables instead.”
  • Call your representative to Congress with the same message. Call the Capitol Switchboard number [202-224-3121] if you don’t know his/her number.  If you don’t know who that is, click this link and follow instructions.
  • Find numbers for your state and fed officials at:

https://www.elections.il.gov/Default.aspx

click “Find my elected officials”

Gov. Pritzker: 312-814-2121;  217-782-6830

For more information: NEIS, (773)342-7650;  neis@neis.org

Thank you!

An otherwise excellent Chicago Tribune summary of the proposed Comprehensive Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CCEJA) was marred by the oversimplified one-line explanation for critics’ opposition to continued Exelon nuclear plant bailouts.  While legitimate to question and oppose bailing out a profitable corporate welfare queen like Exelon, the real reasons are more numerous and complex.

The $694 million Exelon bailout proposed in CCEJA is nearly twice the amount found financially defensible by Governor Pritzker’s $250,000 independent audit commissioned earlier this year.  What’s the justification for increasing ratepayer abuse? Read more

Sept. 3, 2021

This originally was going to be a “summer summary” of NEIS’ work.  However, the importance and prominence of the proposed nuclear bailouts at both the Illinois-State and federal levels argued for a delay of that idea, and an update report to people committed to safe-energy and a less-nuclear world and the negative effects of the continued “nuclear hostage crisis” on our carbon-free/nuclear-free future.

ILLINOIS ENERGY BILL MOVES FORWARD, STILL IN LIMBO:

The omnibus energy bill (SB18, amended; now SB1751, House Amendment 1, no link available yet) continues to lurch forward with the surprise Senate passage on Tuesday Sept. 2 in the wee hours Read more

WASHINGTON, D.C — Over 240 organizations, including Friends of the Earth, Indigenous Environmental Network, Food & Water Watch, The League of Women Voters, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Public Citizen, Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) and hundreds more sent a letter to Congressional leaders telling them to reject all proposals in infrastructure bills that subsidize nuclear energy, and to instead invest in a just and equitable transition to safe, clean renewable energy.

The letter opposes proposals in both the energy legislation for the larger reconciliation package (S.2291/H.R.4024) and the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which together would grant up to $50 billion to prop up aging, increasingly uneconomical nuclear reactors for the next decade.

The letter highlights climate, economic, and environmental justice concerns with proposed nuclear subsidies, in addition to evidence that nuclear power is too dirty, dangerous, expensive, and slow to be a viable solution to the climate crisis.

All of the proposed subsidies (up to $50 billion) are predicted to go to reactors owned by only eight corporations and located in only 19 counties across eight states. Over 50 organizations in each of these states – Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas – signed the letter. Read more

In previous installments of this series, NEIS has attempted to keep the size down to 1-2 pages max.  This issue it too important to confine to that limit.

A major paper was recently released that raises a serious performance issue for those in favor of continued use of nuclear power.  It comes at a critical time when states are debating enormous bailouts of existing nuclear plants that would delay implementation and continue the underfunding of renewable energy, efficiency, storage and transmission upgrades; and entertaining the fanciful promises of a future generation of nuclear reactors being pitched as “solutions” to the climate crisis.

The report, “Increase in frequency of nuclear power outages due to changing climate,” (Nature Energy | VOL 6 | July 2021 | 755–762 | www.nature.com/natureenergy)[1] reveals the vulnerability of nuclear power plants to the extreme weather conditions of the ever-escalating climate crisis.  The Report found:

“In the 1990s, the average frequency of environment-induced outages (full and partial) was around 0.2 outage per reactor-year, but since then it has increased by around eightfold, reaching an average of 1.5 in the past decade.” (emphasis ours). [1] Read more

THE CORROSIVE EFFECTS OF NUCLEAR BAILOUTS

David Kraft, Director, Nuclear Energy Information Service

July 15, 2021

Nuclear bailouts represent the government’s way of turning people into utility ATM machines.  At the state level, that would be ratepayers.  At the federal level, that would be the U.S. taxpayers.  It’s always easier to spend somebody else’s money, especially when trying to score political points with voters and donors.

Nowhere is this more in evidence than in the states of Illinois and Ohio, characterized by not only outrageous nuclear bailouts imposed on ratepayers, but also horrendous amounts of political corruption essential and intrinsic to sealing the deals. Read more

Illinois Legislators should oppose Exelon’s current $700 million nuclear ransom demand.  You can’t build an energy future by bailing out the past.

Recent revelations [1] that Exelon’s business partner EDF is curbing its enthusiasm for the creation of Exelon’s spin-off company “SpinCo” should warn Illinois legislators about the danger of granting the recently proposed nuclear bailout [4].

Earlier this year Exelon announced it would be splitting off and segregating its money-losing, unprofitable nuclear reactors into a separate entity called “SpinCo.” Read more

STATEMENT ON ILLINOIS LEGISLATIVE INACTION

 ON ENERGY LEGISLATION

Tick…tick…tick…

Everything in its own time.  Or so the old saying goes.  The Illinois Legislature demonstrated that old maxim once again by failing to vote before the end of Spring session on a critical piece of energy legislation designed to create Illinois’ energy future.

The Planet has its own schedule, too.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) frantically warned in October 2018 that we humans have at best 10 years left – until 2028 – to totally revamp our energy and economic systems, or risk an irreversible climate crisis that could threaten the very functioning of civilization as we have come to know it.  In this regard it’s important to recall another old maxim:  Nature bats last.

Like the grasshoppers in Aesop’s Fable, we, the Governor, and the Legislature ignore this imminent peril, and instead, content ourselves to “Count the victories,” as House Speaker Chris Welch, D-Hillside, advised yesterday as the clock stroked midnight.  Well, looks like it will now be easier to get to-go cocktails.  Come 2029 and beyond, we will need them, and much more. Read more

Illinois’ Energy Legislation Due for Completion This Week

Your LAST Chance to Tell Them What You Want!

7 competing bills; over 3,500 pages of competing legislation!

This week (May 10, 2021)  the Illinois Legislature will determine the energy fate of Illinois for years to come.

We have long understood that the Illinois energy legislation that will be acted upon in 2021 will be an amalgam of pieces from the numerous proposed bills.  Currently these bills cumulatively amount to between 3,000-4,000 pages of text.  Except for discussion about bailouts, nuclear power is again excluded from detailed examination, significant nuclear-related issues have been ignored, and nuclear critics have been left out of direct discussions. Read more