With electricity rates rising, the Illinois House Public Utilities and Energy and Environment Committee conducted a joint committee hearing concerning energy costs and supply amidst reports by AMEREN and MISO of dramatically increasing prices and potential future rolling blackouts from a lack of the region not producing enough energy to meet demand. Participating in the hearing were representatives from power supplier Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), the Illinois Power Agency (IPA), the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), utility provider AMEREN, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, and activist groups. Testimony pointed to higher prices and supply issues being a multi-factor problem including Illinois’ closure of base load power from coal without a flexible fuel to fill the gap, one that renewable energy cannot meet at this time.
State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) responds:
“We are facing an immediate manmade crisis as politicians destroy Illinois’ robust energy market and unnecessarily endanger our once reliable and clean and low cost power.
I sat through hours of alarming committee hearings today. Here’s what is obvious. Democrats knew the passage of Clean Energy Jobs Act CEJA would result in increased costs and unreliable power. At this hearing back in April 2021, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association said that if the ‘Clean Energy Jobs Act’ passed, they would not know how Illinois energy needs would be met. This is a manmade crisis by politicians focused on ideological goals of unreliable renewable energy at the expense of real solutions.
What was also obvious from the testimony was a total lack of planning and foresight by multiple bureaucracies that are supposed to work together in ensuring we have the energy we need. Make no mistake, this problem is decades in the making but
With a stroke of a pen, Governor Pritzker and the Illinois EPA could change our regulations today to get our peaker plants up and operating and solve this problem immediately. There is no reason average homeowners should be faced with over $600 in higher costs this year or power outages.
Our neighbor, Indiana is allowing gas plants to be built to fill in their energy gap while Illinois sends a different message to natural gas producers.
My colleagues and I warned you last year what would happen. I will continue to fight for cost -effective reliable energy in Illinois.”