Executive Director
Energy Council


December 14, 2018

The House and Senate are scheduled to return to Springfield on January 7 and 8 th for two days of lame duck session before the news 101 st General Assembly is sworn in on January 9 th. If you haven't seen, the House and Senate schedules have been released. As we've discussed, we could see a busy session in the energy and environment space in 2019.

SB849, the Chamber's initiative that was considered and passed the last week of veto session that preempted home rule communities from taxing electric generation, has been sent to the Governor. In communication with Governor staff, it is expected he will sign the legislation.

Quick admin note: This will be the last newsletter of 2018 for the Energy Council. I will be on a long overdue honeymoon starting next weekend and out of the office until January 8 th. I hope all of you have, or had, a happy holiday! See you in January!

MISO Zone 4:  Last week, the Governor's office sent a letter to the ICC requested an updated and finalized study reflecting the ICC's assessment of the MISO Zone 4 issue to be shared with the public and incoming elected officials. The final report is expected soon.

NextGrid Update: We could see the NextGrid report online soon. The U of I confirmed to the Energy Council yesterday they are sending it to the ICC today (Friday). No word when it will be posted by the ICC, but we expect to have an opportunity to comment on the final (300 page, apparently) document. It's possible this report could be used to support legislation presented to the Illinois General Assembly in 2019. That is not certain, however. Stay tuned.

New Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule Out
On Tuesday, the U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers released a proposed rule revising the definition  of WOTUS. This definition sets the scope of federal regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act, replacing the 2015 rule. Under the proposal, six categories of waters would be considered WOTUS: traditional navigable waters; tributaries to traditional navigable waters; certain ditches; certain lakes and ponds; impoundments; and wetlands adjacent to any of the above. The rule also further defines what would not be considered WOTUS and distinguishes between federal and state waters. Interested stakeholders have 60 days to comment on the proposed rule. More information the U.S. EPA is available here .

Regulatory Tracking
The U.S. Chamber has put out a regulatory tracker that lists all of the activity in the regulatory space by the Trump administration in energy and environment. Helpful document to see what's going on. See the quick reference list and the full database (scroll down).

Other DC Bits 
  • The Congressional Budget Office released its annual report on Options to Reduce the Deficit. Of note, CBO suggests imposing a tax on greenhouse gasses, which would increase federal revenues by $1.1 trillion over the next ten years. See Revenue Option 35 on page 292 for more.
  • 100 members of the U.S. House signed a letter to President Trump to recommit the U.S. to the Paris Climate Agreement and fully implement the Clean Power Plan, methane emission controls, and more. Expect climate to get much attention in the U.S. in the next Congress as many newly elected members have made it a priority and pushing their caucus to follow suit. Good chance this will be added to the Democratic party platform as well for 2020, after not receiving much attention the last few cycles from official party positions.
  • Congress needs to pass a CR (continuing resolution) by December 21st or the government shuts down for the federal agencies not funded earlier in the year.

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