By Zachary Richter
May 27, 2022
Rep. Dan Caulkins pleads with the Pritzker administration to lift restrictions on electric generators because electricity is going to be a huge problem this summer.

Caulkins, House Rep. of Illinois General Assembly, State House of Representatives, Illinois General Assembly, State House of Representatives talked about fixing the problem of blackouts on May 26th during a news conference.

"The Illinois EPA today can change the regulations on emissions for our gas-fired generators. If they would do that, we would have sufficient power to get us through this bridge. We will also need to get together and figure out how we're going to incentivize the other generators in this state, the coal-fired generators, to stay operational. That's the bigger challenge. We look at other states, particularly Indiana — they’re going through the same problems we're going through, only Indiana is allowing gas generators to be built. They've also taken a measure this past week to stop the decommissioning of some coal-fired generators because they know that they can't meet the requirements of their base load for the next two years. So our plea today is to the Pritzker Administration to get to your Illinois EPA director and tell them we need to lift these restrictions on our electric generators, our gas-fired generators. We're going to need that electricity this summer, this winter, and next year. We've got a serious problem. Let's get busy fixing it," said Caulkins.

ComEd has been attempting to implement its energy efficiency program expansion following the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA). If that is approved, then ComEd will be adding approximately 30 cents to the monthly bill of an average customer.

"CEJA is widely recognized throughout Illinois and beyond as ambitious clean energy legislation, and the ComEd energy efficiency programs that it supports will contribute significantly to reducing carbon emissions," said Stacey Paradis, executive director of the Midwest Energy Efficiency Association. "In Illinois, energy efficiency is a key component to achieving climate targets while reducing household costs, decreasing emissions and improving indoor air quality and resiliency."

Many do not support CEJA even now and this list includes manufacturers, businesses and other agencies. "It guts our state's clean energy goals, and it exempts large fossil fuel plans from our clean air and climate protections," JC Kibbey with Natural Resources Defense Council said. "All these would be on top of the many compromises that industrial users already received in the course of negotiating this bill."