Action by Chicago-based Exelon Corporation and misguided legislators bodes ill for Illinois
September 12, 2010
It is now official that what used to be an imposing Lake Michigan lakefront landmark for the City of Zion, and a source of most of its local tax revenue, will now be dismantled over the next decade.
September 1st was the date when Chicago-based Exelon Corporation transferred the dual Zion Nuclear Plant licenses to Energy Solutions out of Utah, resulting in the wasting of Zion’s massive 2,100 megawatt electrical power capacity from the Mid-west power grid. This is after ComEd, the Chicago area utility subsidiary of Exelon, increased its electric rates by 17% this summer.
What makes Exelon’s decision all the more disturbing is that electric rate payers have already paid billions to construct Zion and additionally $1 billion into its decommissioning fund. According to Exelon, the $1 billion is half the amount needed to restart Zion.
Rather perplexing, with the Zion decision looming, is that Exelon Corporation made forays over the summer into the wind and solar energy fields, neither of which would qualify as investments of substance for Exelon if not for federal and state subsidies received and real estate and federal tax breaks.
Might it be because CEO John Rowe, as reported in a Tribune editorial on Sept. 6th, is one of the leading local advocates of “Cap and Trade?” Might John Rowe be dreaming of that day down the road when Exelon can sell solar and wind renewable energy credits?
Illinois state legislators are also guilty for their lack of foresight in approving a mandate that prohibits the building of new nuclear plants and also for legislation passed in 2007 which mandates that 25% of electricity be generated from clean, renewable energy sources by 2025.
How will this nation and this state be able to satisfy future energy needs if the unreasonable fear of Climate Change (Global Warming) — which is rightly considered a hoax by many — continues to influence the passing of legislation targeted at reducing CO2, but which will have no effect other than to harm the economy.
Nuclear energy is safe, clean, green, and gives the biggest bang for the buck. Going green might be the fashionable thing to do, but if renewables were so great why the need for government subsidies?
The promotion of green, renewable energy sources might make people feel good, but it’s nuclear power that offers the way forward. The continued push toward renewable sources of energy is certain to keep energy prices inflated, production at a disadvantage, and economic growth curtailed.
The actions of Exelon’s CEO John Rowe and Springfield legislators is unacceptable, unwise, and bodes ill for Illinois. For while the whole world is nuking up, Illinois and this nation is treating nuclear energy as an unwanted stepchild.