The Latest: Illinois manufacturers criticize Exelon law

AP News
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Posted: Dec 07, 2016 1:12 PM

PORT BYRON, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signing nuclear plant legislation on Wednesday (all times local):

12:10 p.m.

The Illinois Manufacturers' Association says Gov. Bruce Rauner weakened Illinois' job prospects by signing a nuclear-energy subsidy.

Rauner signed the law Wednesday creating a plan to allow Exelon Corp. to keep two unprofitable nuclear plants open with $235 million a year from ratepayers. But he says it will save consumers money by providing a reliable source of energy and through energy efficiency programs.

The manufacturers' group says Illinois lost 10,000 high-paying jobs last year while neighboring states grew. It says that "building a guaranteed rate hike into state law" and reversing decades of deregulated energy production will weaken the economy.

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10:50 a.m.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation providing billions of dollars in subsidies to Exelon Corp. so the power giant can keep unprofitable nuclear plants running in Clinton and the Quad Cities.

Rauner's office says he signed the measure Wednesday morning during a ceremony at Riverdale High School in Port Byron. He planned to sign it again later in the day in Clinton. Both cities are home to nuclear plants. State lawmakers approved the legislation during last week's veto session.

Rauner said in a statement that "while this legislation isn't perfect, it allows us to protect jobs, ratepayers and taxpayers." He says he wasn't willing to "gamble with thousands of good paying jobs."

Exelon says the law "safeguards the state's top source of clean energy, protects and creates thousands of jobs and strengthens the Illinois economy, while preserving competitive rates."

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4:40 a.m.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is set to sign legislation that provides billions of dollars in subsidies to Exelon Corp. so the power giant can keep unprofitable nuclear plants running in Clinton and the Quad Cities.

The Republican is scheduled to sign legislation Wednesday to keep the Quad Cities plant open in Port Byron in the morning and do the same later in the day in Clinton to keep the plant there running.

The measure that provides $235 million per year to Exelon was approved by lawmakers last week. It calls for more than 4 million customers of power-distributing subsidiaries ComEd and Ameren to pay more to finance the plan. Rauner previously criticized "special deals" for corporations but last week said closing the plants would have "devastated the two communities.