Executive Director
Energy Council


November 27, 2018

The week before Thanksgiving, the House and Senate began the process of overriding dozens of Gov. Rauner's vetoes of legislation. For a recap, see the Government Affairs report the Chamber put out at the end of last week. This week starts the final week of veto session, with both chambers scheduled to be in Tuesday through Thursday. Members of the current General Assembly will likely hold one last session (lame duck session) a day or two prior to the swearing in of the new 101st General Assembly on January 9 th. JB Pritzker will be sworn in as Governor on January 14 th. Below is what's up for the week, which is expected to be relatively quiet.

The House Environment Committee meets at 3pm on Tuesday. SB3549, Amendment 1 was filed by Representative Costello to clarify that IDNR has jurisdiction over the downhole portion of underground natural gas storage tank facilities and that they must certify their pipeline safety program with the USDOT.  This bill aims to solve some juridistictional confusion over downhole portions of storage tanks that stems from Congress passing the PIPES Act in 2016.

SB3101 has been amended with compromise language on ethylene oxide. Amendment 4, the Ethylene Oxide Emission Control Act, allows the IEPA to enter an emergency rulemaking and set forth emission reduction targets by certain dates. SB3101 also requires an IEPA approved third party vendor to verify emission reduction levels and test the ambient air surrounding the facility. The testing costs are the responsibility of the company. If levels are not compliant, the IEPA has the authority to impose penalties and notice must be issued to residents within five miles of the facility. Amendment 5 clarifies that the section applies to the owner/operator of a sterilization facility using 1 ton or more of ethylene oxide in a 12-month period. The requirements do not apply to research facilities or hospitals, among others. The testing must occur by September 1, 2019 or 60-days after a new or modified source.

House Public Utilities will meet at 9.30am on Wednesday and consider SB849, an initiative of the Illinois Chamber. SB849 will extend a sunset provision clarifying that the authority to tax electric generation is the responsibility of the state. It would preempt home rule communities from taxing or imposing a fee on the generation of electricity or the emissions from electric generation.  That provision is scheduled to sunset on January 1, 2019.  SB849 would extend the preemption for two years.

No significant legislation in the energy and environment space is expected in the Senate. Before the Thanksgiving break, the Senate Executive Committee considered SB241, legislation by Senator Munoz affecting the distribution of notices when air and water permits for facilities are required. The bill has been amended with language from the Chamber and IERG to limit the bill's scope. The bill now apply to air permits for new facilities and require the IEPA to provide notice by certified or registered mail, or electronically, to the State Senator or Representative of the district where the facility will be located. Additionally, the notice shall be posted on the Agency's website searchable by zip code. The language has been filed and could be considered by the Senate next week. No word if the bill will be considered by the House.
Governor-Elect Pritzker Names Energy Transition Team
Governor-elect Pritzker named his energy transition team on Monday. The 30-member team is chaired by Illinois Environmental Council Executive Director Jen Walling, Exelon Utilities CEO Anne Pramagorrie, and IBEW Local 51 John Johnson. The remaining members consist of environmental groups, labor, the utility and nuclear industry, and state elected officials. There are no business groups as members of the transition committee, despite outreach efforts to the Pritzker team. The committee will focus on efforts to invest in grid and water infrastructure and energy efficient technologies.

By now you have seen that the Trump administration released a new climate science report on Friday, detailing significant economic impact due to climate change. The National Climate Assessment describes some pretty dire warnings - extreme heat would cause labor-related losses of an estimated $155 billion per year by 2090; coastal property damage in the U.S. from sea level rise and storm surge flooding could reach nearly $120 billion per year; and an overall 10% hit to the U.S economy. President Trump has denied the findings in the report. With Democrat-elect House members pushing for action at the start of the new Congress, it's possible this issue will get some significant attention. However, with the Senate and the White House unmoved, legislative inaction remains likely. States continue to take the lead and we will likely see a resurgence in the Midwest focused on climate change issues and possible carbon pricing mechanisms.

Facebook has extended an invitation to all Illinois Chamber members to attend a free two-day, localized program bringing together small business owners, entrepreneurs, job seekers and community groups to enable them to learn how to use technology to grow their business and to learn new skills.  The event will take place from December 3 through December 4 at the Bank of Springfield Center in Springfield, IL.  For more information and to register, click  here .



IL Chamber Energy Council | | | 215 E Adams St.
Springfield, IL 62701

Connect with the Chamber

© Illinois Chamber of Commerce

Not a member and want to learn more about the Illinois Chamber click here to contact Jeanette Anderson