All signs indicate that the Illinois General Assembly will pass major legislation this spring dramatically changing how energy is produced. Governor JB Pritzker prioritized it in his recent State of the State Address and proponents seem confident something will happen.
Consumers should be worried. They have no organized voice at the table.
The usual process for negotiating energy bills is now broken. That process, flawed as it was, pitted various utilities and energy producers against each other, so suppliers of natural gas and other traditional sources had some say. But with ComEd’s scandal still unfolding, Pritzker said, “I am not going to sign an energy bill written by the utility companies,” and he has long been on record as a global warmist.
That makes its open season for climate extremists.
The leading bill is a statist’s dream and cost doesn’t matter to supporters. It’s called CEJA, the Clean Energy Jobs Act. As we wrote earlier, it’s ike Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s concept of a Green New Deal for the nation. Its central goal is totally eliminating non-renewable sources, including nuclear and natural gas. Worse, it would attempt an entire remake of much of the economy to center on renewables. It’s a 365-page monstrosity of bureaucratic overreach, brimming with social justice goals.
If you think CUB, the Citizen’s Utility Board, is still looking out for ordinary consumers, forget it. It has been captured by the renewables industry and supports CEJA.
Business groups including the Illinois Manufacturers Association and Illinois Chamber of Commerce are lobbying for some sanity in the process, but their interests don’t always align with ordinary consumers. And business interests aren’t exactly a priority in Springfield.
Who will even tell the story objectively as it unfolds? I am aware of just one reporter who understands the complex utility industry – Steve Daniels at Crain’s. Aside from him, the narrative will be controlled by the uber-powerful renewables industry and warmists.
So, brace yourselves to get snowed. And I certainly don’t mean that literally because what Illinois does sure as heck won’t actually help reduce temperatures.