Gov. J.B. Pritzker doesn’t anticipate broad energy plan coming together during fall session

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he doesn’t expect to see a broad state energy plan come together during the General Assembly’s brief fall legislative session.

As lawmakers prepare to return to the state capital later this month for the fall session, a number of policy issues could be discussed – from gun control measures to e-cigarette regulations.

Pritzker said energy policies could also be discussed.

“We only have about seven percent of our power being generated by wind and less than one percent generated by solar,” Pritzker said. “We can do so much better and we need to continue that drive toward renewables and toward green energy policies.”

Vistra Energy, which announced the closure of several coal-fired power plants affecting nearly 300 jobs, wants lawmakers to pass the Coal to Solar and Energy Storage Act.

Judith Lagano with NRG Inc. wants legislation to create a clean-energy credit that power companies can get for increasing clean energy sources over time.

“We believe that is the fastest way to a clean energy future and the means by which achieving it at a price that we can afford,” Lagano said.

She said shifting to renewable energy sources comes with a cost.

“So ultimately, consumers will pay to transition to a clean energy future,” Lagano said.

The proposal NRG is backing puts the risk on energy companies to invest in clean energy to get attributes, or credits, Lagano said. Credits would be available for programs that either find efficiencies or create clean energy products.

But the governor said doesn’t expect a broad energy plan to surface during the fall session.

“It certainly is something that’s being considered as part of a broader energy package,” Pritzker said. “I don’t know that we’ll be able to get to it during a veto session.”

Lawmakers are scheduled to come back for three days beginning Oct. 28 and then three days beginning Nov. 12.

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October 8, 2019 at 04:41PM

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