April 5, 2019
Quarterly Meeting Recap
Thank you to all who came out to the Energy Council Quarterly meeting last week and a special thank you to the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency for hosting us.
Senator Bill Cunningham and Representative Larry Walsh were our guest speakers. They opened the meeting giving an overview of energy issues before their committees and then went into discussion with the group. They both spoke to the larger energy issues that are being considered before the General Assembly and heard from our members on their thoughts on the process, the legislation, and some history on how past negotiations have gone. Both legislators agreed that they would like to see a thorough stakeholder process and committed to having an open door and ensuring any final package does not unduly burden ratepayers. Based on the conversation with Senator Cunningham and Representative Walsh, it seems that seeing a finalized package is unlikely during this session, but of course anything can happen.
Representative Walsh said that negotiations should be starting this week between Exelon and the Clean Jobs Coalition, and stakeholder negotiations will expand from there.
After our guest speakers left, we reviewed where we are legislatively after committee deadline in the House and Senate, what bills we are still tracking and any positions we have on the bills. We also talked through how we are approaching this General Assembly and other actions necessary to effectively advocate on behalf of our members. Thanks again to all who attended. Look for the next Council meeting over the summer in Chicago.
This week was quieter than past weeks in the House and Senate. With committee deadlines having past, members are now looking to move their priorities through the House and Senate chambers before the 3
rd reading deadlines on April 12
th. The General Assembly then breaks for two weeks and returns on April 30
th for the final five weeks of session.
The only committee of jurisdiction in the energy and environment space that met last week was the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee, but the Chamber did not take a position on any of the bills considered. House Public Utilities and House Energy and Environment posted hearings but cancelled those later in the day.
Senate Environment considered amendments to a few bills.
(Cunningham) provides that diesel fuel operated vehicles may not idle longer than 10-minutes in a 60-minute period. The amendments add further limitations on that restriction, such as to counties with over 3 million residents and in residential areas. Further, the amendments remove school buses, IDOT, waste haulers, ambulances and others from the bill. The amendment passed with no opposition.
(Rezin) would allow a fee to be charged for Starved Rock State Park. The Committee passed amdt 2, which removes residents of LaSalle county from the fee, with no opposition.
(Morrison) requires the IEPA to define microplastics and their impact on public drinking water and the amendment has the study conducted by U of I's Prairie Research Institute. The amendment passed with no opposition.
, Amdt 2 passed House Judiciary-Criminal Committee. The Chamber supported the bill, which would impose stricter criminal penalties on a person who knowingly damages critical infrastructure such as pipelines, railways, transmission, etc. The bill has been amended to lower the criminal penalties from a Class 1 to Class 3 penalty and add coal mines to the definition of critical infrastructure and to switch "knowingly" to "intentionally", further ensuring the bill impacts those who seek to damage critical infrastructure assets. The bill is on 2
reading in the House.
passed the House Thursday. 66-46-0. 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.
(Williams/Cunningham) passed both Chambers and will be sent to the Governor. The bill impacts county zoning rules for wind farms.
(Ellman) passed the Senate 36-16. The bill repeals the Kyoto Protocol Act, which will enable state agencies to regulate greenhouse gases. The Illinois General Assembly passed the bill back in 1998 to prevent the state from going alone in attempting to regulate greenhouse gases, and rather join a national approach. We believe that any attempt to regulate greenhouse gases should be a national approach. Further, if it happened at the state level, it should not come at the discretion of state agencies without any input from the legislature.
Bills on Third Reading
(Steans) requires DCEO, ICC, IPA, and IEPA to design a broad-based policy approach to decarbonize the electricity sector by 2030. We oppose the concept of decarbonization by 2030, but we talked with Senator about concerns with the overall concept and feasibility of decarbonizing by 2030 and that bill does not require the report to include a review of costs, impact on communities, or the impact on electric reliability. Senator Steans said she'd consider language on that, which has been provided. The bill was placed on the calendar for 3
reading next week but no amendment has been filed with that language.
Nothing has officially posted for next week at the time of this writing, but based on what bills are in each committee, here is a list of what could be considered.
If House Public Utilities meets on Tuesday, they could consider multiple bills that would require reports ranging on topics from demand response (HB125); energy storage (
); fuel diversity capacity (
); electricity imports and exports (
); competitive energy markets (
); and on generation availability and costs during peak electricity demand (
, Amdt 1 (Gabel) would further define the process for how the ICC would consider beneficial electrification. The amendment goes beyond a request for a report and a workshop. It requires a workshop and later a proceeding at the ICC to determine cost-benefit valuations of multiple EV adoption scenarios and then have that model influence beneficial electrification plans by the utilities for proposing new investments. It asks for a review of alternative rate structures, but then also appears to require the utilities to implement time of use rates and describe how those rates benefit electric vehicles and for all customers.
House Energy and Environment could consider
(Durkin) which seeks to further regulate ethylene oxide emissions;
, Amdt 1, which would require the ICC to report on the decommissioning of nuclear facilities every two years, and
(Scherer) which would require the inclusion of sourcing agreements between "clean coal facilities" and both utilities and alternative retail electric suppliers as part of each annual procurement plan from the IPA and ICC. This is a repeat from the last two years (
). We opposed the bill last year.
Senate Energy and Public Utilities could meet Thursday and would likely consider
, Amdt 1 (Munoz). SB660 is the Senate companion to HB2861 (Walsh), the capacity market reform bill. The Chamber testified in opposition in the House.
, Amdt 1 (Lightford) would implement additional requirements on alternative retail suppliers. The bill is on 3
reading in the Senate.
, Amdt 1 (Murphy) requiring a utility to install a new transmission line over 138 kw or over, underground. The utility is permitted to recover the cost from ratepayers.