By Michael Mariotte

Exelon has raised the stakes. It's time to take them on. And win.

Exelon has raised the stakes. It’s time to take them on. And win.

Today NIRS and our colleagues at Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) in Chicago kicked off the most important state-level action we’ll be doing all year: taking on Exelon’s full-court press for a bailout of its aging, uneconomic nuclear fleet in Illinois.

If you’re in Illinois, tell your legislators to reject Exelon’s proposed bailout legislation and instead to support the Clean Jobs Act, which would encourage renewable energy and energy efficiency.

If you’re not in Illinois, but know someone who is, send them this article, or the link to the NIRS’ action page. Or you can send them the Alert we sent out today to people in Illinois.

Exelon is spending millions on campaign contributions and other lobbying efforts to force Illinois residents to pay more for their electricity in order to prop up Exelon’s failed reactors. Here’s just one of several articles on Exelon’s spending spree.

No one on the clean energy side has the means to counter Exelon’s dollars, of course, so we have to rely on people power. But that’s what clean energy advocates do best. And that’s what makes this battle winnable. Not easy, by any means. And it will take everyone concerned about Illinois’ energy future, not to mention their own wallets, reaching out to their friends and neighbors to make sure every single person possible contacts their legislators.

It sometimes seems like we’ve written endlessly about this issue already on GreenWorld; it’s certainly been a major topic for a year now. Here’s our most recent piece–Tim Judson’s breakdown of what Exelon wants, both from its proposed legislation as well as from other governmental and regulatory bodies as well. And here’s our quick recent look at the politics of the situation. Searching through GreenWorld with the keyword “Exelon” will bring up at least a dozen more articles with background on the issue.

To be clear, however, we’ve been writing about this so much because the issue is so critical–not only for Illinois, but for the entire nation. Other nuclear utilities like Entergy and FirstEnergy, as we’ve also noted in these pages, are also seeking bailouts for their uneconomic reactors. What happens in Illinois, either way, will certainly be cited as precedent in other states.

But Illinois is not the only state where NIRS is involved in state-level actions. Right now, we have active campaigns for renewable energy and against nuclear power in five other states and Washington DC. You can find out more about these on the action page of our website.

Most people are familiar with NIRS’ major national actions, like those on Mobile Chernobyl, or nuclear power and climate. They’re a big part of what NIRS does, and each action involves a lot of effort and expertise to follow the issue and know when and how to best take effective action.

But fewer realize that NIRS does these kinds of state-level actions as well. And they’re often even more effective than the national campaigns.

If something is happening in your state legislature, or before state regulators, that you think is important for your state’s energy future and where a NIRS action might be helpful, let us know. We can’t promise we’ll take on every possible issue, but we do as many as we can where we think we can help.

In the meantime, if you’re in Illinois, take action now: tell your legislators to support clean energy and oppose Exelon’s nuclear bailout. And if you’re not in Illinois, well, you probably know someone there. Let them know about this. Spread the word. Post it on your blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, Google+, tumblr, reddit, Pinterest, wherever you spend time online. Outreach is crucial; that’s how we win.

Michael Mariotte

March 16, 2015


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Filed under: energy future, Nuclear Economics, nuclear industry, nukes and climate Tagged: Clean Jobs Act, Exelon, grassroots action, state actions

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