Column: Too much money, too much power

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Illinois electric ratepayers, beware. “The Bank” is open and seeking more from your wallets this fall.

A $60 million bribery scandal has rocked Ohio’s political scene, leading to criminal charges against the powerful House speaker and other politicians involving a brazen scheme to pad the pockets of a major nuclear energy company. In the criminal complaint, the federal prosecutor said the company has “too much money and too much power” and gave it the nickname “The Bank” because it could fund political power grabs for decades at its choosing.

Sound familiar? It should.

Here in Illinois, Exelon-owned Commonwealth Edison just entered a deferred prosecution agreement after a lengthy federal investigation into similar corruption and bribery charges. Politically connected lobbyists and consultants helped them force through legislation, the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act, that will cost Illinois electric consumers $2.3 billion, according to media reports.

But it’s clear, even after paying a $200 million fine, they have not learned their lesson.

Exelon is now driving a push in Springfield for the Clean Energy Jobs Act. In it, Exelon includes a mechanism called the Fixed Resource Requirement (FRR) that could raise Illinois electricity prices by more than $414 million each year. As with the corruption-clouded FEJA, this new legislation is largely a customer-funded bailout for Exelon’s already profitable nuclear plans under the guise of building new clean energy resources.

26-Delivered

via The Quad-City Times

August 24, 2020 at 06:59AM

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