Katie Stonewater | Executive Director, Energy Council | 312-386-7795
May 6, 2019
The House and Senate returned to Springfield last week, knocking out one bullet point of the Governor's agenda - passing a graduated income tax through the Senate. Its chances are still unknown in the House. For more information, see our Government Affairs Report from May 3rd.
It's another deadline week as substantive bills from the opposite Chambers need to move out of committee by Friday, May 10th. The House and Senate are scheduled to be in Tuesday through Friday.
House Public Utilities met on Tuesday and passed one bill SB1529 (Harmon/Hoffman) and received subject matter testimony on SB125, Amdt 2, the Competitive Clean Energy Act. The Committee heard testimony from NRG and opponents Exelon, the Sierra Club, and the Illinois Industrial Electric Consumers (IIEC). Exelon argued the cost and suggested the bill was just a bailout for coal, would not benefit clean energy technologies, and argued the legislature needed to address challenges facing clean energy in Illinois, i.e. capacity market reforms. The Sierra Club argued the bill would wipe out existing clean energy programs (i.e. RPS) and instead benefit out-of-state coal companies. IIEC spoke to concerns over costs to customers and competitive market intervention.
Members asked proponents questions about how the bill would impact existing market structures and what it would do to existing solar programs in Illinois. Opponents were asked what the difference was between HB125 offering a program and relief for fossil fuel generators and the ZEC program the legislature established to benefit the nuclear industry. Overall, proponents want to see a level playing field for efforts that are seeking to limit carbon outputs or are zero-emission outputs and have them compete for resource standard contracts. Opponents are concerned over cost and the survivability of existing resource standard programs. Chairman Walsh closed with a reminder that negotiations are ongoing (though no known meetings have occurred).
SB1529 concerns start dates for REC contracts if the project is delayed due to finalizing interconnection agreements due to actions or inactions by the transmission operator. The bill passed with no objection.
House Energy and Environment also met and passed HR7 (Flowers) a resolution to urge the creation of an environmental justice agenda. The Committee also was to consider HJR47, which would create a coal ash task force, but Representative Marron did not call it and instead will consider it this week. The resolution is expected to receive an amendment adding members to the task force.
HB 2460 (Martinez) passed Senate Financial Institutions Committee. The Chamber is opposed to the bill, which codifies guidelines that a state agency shall implement sustainable investment practices and incorporate those into new and existing investment decisions. This is an initiative of the Treasurer's office. We oppose the bill because we do not see a need for the State to codify this policy, particularly when there is no restriction in law to prevent the Treasurer's office from considering these practices as part of their investment decisions.
HB1633 (Hoffman/Hastings), legislation to protect critical infrastructure assets across the State, was moved to a CLEAR Compliance subcommittee in Senate Criminal Law.
Senate Energy and Public Utilities met twice on Thursday. The first hearing was at 11am and the second at 1pm. The 11am hearing heard one bill HB2650 and passed two others on the agreed bill list (HB840, HB3482) The Committee heard subject matter testimony on the sale of power lines in the City of Rochelle. There has been a disagreement over the City's efforts to sell its high-voltage power line.
The second subject matter hearing heard testimony on SB135, Amdt 3, the Competitive Clean Energy Act, and SB660, Amdt 1, Exelon's capacity market reform bill. The Chamber testified in opposition to SB660. The language is the same as the House bill. Our concerns are over the significant cost implications for the state and ratepayers, and the shift away from the markets; the need to await a ruling from FERC addressing this issue; independent analysis to suggest all of the plants in PJM's territory are profitable; and reliability issues for what happens when the nuclear facilities ultimately do shut down and the market was so constrained not to allow any new generation from being built. The IIEC, American Wind Energy Association, and the Nuclear Energy Information Association Services also testified in opposition. Proponents included Exelon, CUB, and Coal City School District.
Senate Environment and Conservation also met Thursday and passed several bills:
HB2296 (Williams) dealing with recycling lead batteries.
HB3068 (Howard/Ellman) provides that it is the policy of the State to establish a comprehensive statewide program for solid waste management which will preserve or enhance the quality of air, water, and land resources.
HB3481 (Ellman) passed the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee without debate and along a partisan rollcall. It repeals the Kyoto Protocol. This statute restricted the State from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.  The Chamber opposed the bill as any attempt to regulate greenhouse gases should be a national approach.  Further, if this were done at the state level, it should not come at the discretion of state agencies without any input from the legislature. 
HB2764 (Koehler) passed the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee without objection. The bill would allow for the use of less onerous manifesting for transporting non-hazardous waste.  The Chamber supported the bill. 

Committees are posted for this week, but nothing of major concern or excitement is expected to be up. For now.
House Public Utilities meets at 2pm and has posted two bills: SB1724 (Harris/Ford), which would require a report on water rates throughout Illinois. Rates throughout Lake Michigan service area are to be reported first. The study will be conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago. SB1792 (Aquino/Slaughter) requires a study on the cost-benefits of battery storage. The study will be run through the ICC but conducted by an independent consultant.
House Energy and Environment meets at 3.30pm and has a number of bills posted. Of note: SB1847 (Munoz/Mah). We provided agreed language to Senator Munoz for SB1847 that made us neutral on the bill. It would amend the Environmental Protection Act to provides that the Environmental Protection Agency shall provide notice when a permit for a new facility is required.
HJR47 (Marron), as described above, is expected to be called this week and the Chamber supports the bill and the forthcoming amendment.
SB1852 (Durkin) and SB1854 (Durkin) are vehicles to address regulation of ethylene oxide. Negotiations continue between the Governor's office and legislators.
SB1530 (Harmon/Hoffman) is posted in House Revenue and Finance at 8am. A subject matter is posted for Committee on Thursday. The bill expands the definition of high impact business to include utility scale solar projects. The bill was amended to add prevailing wage requirements to projects. The Chamber supports adding utility scale solar projects for eligibility but is neutral on the bill due to the prevailing wage requirements.
Senate Environment and Conservation is posted at 11am. Of the bills posted, the Chamber supports HB2491 (Walsh/McGuire) which provides a process to recycle plastic materials. The bill was amended in the House to limit that process to a pilot project in Will and Grundy counties, removing the environmental community's opposition to the bill.
HB2076 which banned the use of BPA in paper for all business records, including receipts. The bill received an amendment to limit the ban to the manufacturing and use of thermal paper if it has BPA in the coating, after January 1, 2020. The ban does not apply to recycled paper.
SB9 is expected to be considered in Committee, though it has not posted as of Monday. Senator Bennett introduced Amendment 3 to SB9 late on Friday and the amendment is expected to be considered in Committee on Thursday. Overall, many entities have been carved out, but there is strong concern that once/if this bill is passed, it's likely that proponents will come back to try and add those groups in future sessions. More as this continues to develop.
IL Chamber Energy Council | | kstonewater@ilchamber.org | 215 E Adams St.
Springfield, IL 62701

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