This week, the Public Utilities and the Energy and Environment Committees of the Illinois House of Representatives 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 base load supply. 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 Manufactures 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.
Representative Brad Halbrook, responds:
“Last year my colleagues and I warned you that politicians in Illinois were planning for a New Green Deal that would hurt families and businesses. Just months after the ‘Clean Energy Jobs Act” passed our comments have unfortunately been proven true.
Central and Southern Illinoisans are facing hundreds of dollars in higher energy costs and potential power outages because of terrible policy decisions by Illinois Democrats who chose wind and solar power over reliable coal and natural gas plants. It is nonsensical and shameful considering we receive three-fourths of our energy from coal and natural gas in our region. And at a time when the world is facing grain shortages, it makes even less sense to cover productive Illinois farmland with solar panels from China. These Democrats prove they are an enemy to Illinois farmers and businesses.
AMEREN testified that the average homeowner would pay an additional $624 this year and face the threat of power blackouts. This price hike comes at a time when we are also facing inflation at over 8 percent. I listened to the committee hearing for hours. The Democrats aren’t interested in solving the problem of higher prices. We should encourage our coal plants to stay open and allow natural gas plants that are comparably low carbon emitters to keep operating above the artificial emissions caps imposed by bureaucrats.
Illinois politicians are gambling with our future rather than planning for our future.”