Executive Director
Energy Council


APRIL 30, 2018


The next quarterly meeting of the Energy, Environment, and Infrastructure Councils will be a joint event, hosted by Schiff Hardin. Our guest speakers will be U.S. EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp and the new Great Lakes Commission Executive Director, Darren Nichols.

When: May 4 th, 2pm - 4pm.
Where: Schiff Hardin, 233 S. Wacker Dr, Suite 7100, Chicago, IL 60606

It was third reading deadline week in both chambers this week, which meant things were moving. As always, deadlines do not always mean much since extensions are common, but that didn't provide for a lack of activity.

Of note, the following key bills received activity. I'll describe a daily play-by-play description below.
SB3101 (Castro/Moeller) - passed the Senate 31-21 and is in the House
SB3174 (Koehler/Costello) - passed the Senate 32-17 and is in the House.
SB2213 (Biss) - failed the Senate 29-18, but was postponed.

HB4236 , Amdt2 (Phillips) passed out of House Agriculture on Tuesday and is on 2nd reading in the House. Multiple fiscal notes have been attached to the bill, but many have been addressed. HB4236 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. We oppose this legislation.

House Energy, House Environment and House Public Utilities all posted hearings for the afternoon with short notice. House Energy advanced HB4651, Amdt 1 (Meier). The amendment was a request of the Farm Bureau, but negotiations remain ongoing. The Committee then moved into a subject matter hearing on the Volkswagen Settlement Beneficiary Mitigation Plan. The Chamber testified at the hearing in support of the draft plan, sharing our position that the IEPA's draft plan goes a long way to improve the environment and invest in technologies that will dramatically reduce emissions in the transportation sector.

House Environment adopted an amendment to HB5198 (Walsh). HB5198, allows for plastics to be converted back to crude oil and other useful products later passed the House on Friday 81-20. We supported the measure.

House Public Utilities met and considered HB1187 , affecting small cell wireless technology.

Senate Labor posted for a subject matter hearing on Amdt 1 to
SB2213 late Tuesday night. SB2213 would require that Illinois environmental laws and regulations, as well as workplace safety laws, remain as strict or more stringent than federal laws in place before the Trump Administration was inaugurated. The amendment sunsets the bill after three years from the enactment date and removes the citizen suit and private right of action. It is terrible policy for Illinois and could make Illinois less competitive among its neighbors if certain environmental regulations were modified and Illinois could not comply.  The Chamber opposed the amendment and our colleagues at the Illinois Environmental Regulatory Group testified in opposition.

HB4135  (Bourne/Manar), which passed the House earlier this month, was referred to the Senate State Government Committee. The bill extends the deadline for the report from the Flue Gasification Task Force. The Chamber supported the bill.

Chamber Stops SB2213, for now
Working with a coalition of business and labor, the Chamber was successful in preventing Senator Biss from advancing SB2213 by a vote of 29-18. The Senator requested the bill be postponed and it received an extension until May 3rd. Two likely 'yes' votes were not in attendance yesterday, so the bill could pass if the Senator calls it again.

SB3174 (Koehler) passed the Senate 31-17. It would prohibit small drilling wells from classifying as confidential. This is a local initiative of Senator Koehler's offered by People's Action. The Chamber opposed the bill and signed onto this opposition sheet with labor and business. Representative Costello has sponsored the bill in the House.

SB3101 (Castro) passed the Senate 31-21. This bill amends the Environmental Protection Act. Contains provisions requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to create a State beneficiary mitigation plan in accordance with specified consent decrees. Provides that the Agency shall establish the Volkswagen Settlement Task Force. Given the absence of business-industry on the task force, the Chamber opposed. Representative Moeller has picked up the bill in the House.

SB3548 and 3549 (Rose), bills that set forth reporting and inspection requirements for facilities that sit on the footprint of the Mahomet Aquifer, passed the Senate with no opposition. They are in the House.

SB3156 (Aquino) received an amendment that replaces the language with a requirement that Compliance Commitment Agreements (CCAs) be posted online within 30 days after taking effect. The amendment passed the Senate Environment and Conversation Committee and the bill is on 3 rd reading in the Senate, with deadline extended to May 3 rd.

SB2706, Amdt 1 (Rose), was not called in Senate Environment Committee. The bill affects underground natural gas storage facilities. According to staff, the bill is to bring Illinois regulations in line with federal regulations.

HB 5689 (Costello) puts certain state regulations regarding coal mining in line with federal requirements. The bill passed the House today with no opposition. The Chamber supported the bill.

This week
Only the Senate is in session this week. As previously described, SB2213 (Biss) could be called again. Senate Environment has posted a hearing for Thursday at 10am, but could cancel. The Committee will hear  HB4569 (Koehler/Parkhurst), which allows a facility used for agriculture; refueling at a construction site or for a commercial vehicle fleet can store up to 12,000 gallons of fuel for dispensing in aboveground storage tanks. The bill passed the House with no opposition.

The Committee will also consider SJR60 (Lightford), a joint resolution declaring a week in September as "Illinois Waterway Cleanup Week" and SR1600 (Bush), which urges Illinois agencies to protect against the loss of water resources and flooding and ecological impacts from the Foxconn facility.


Farms finding advantages in going solar (Jacksonville Journal-Courier)

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