ENERGY COUNCIL
Newsletter

KATIE STONEWATER

Executive Director
Energy Council

 
 
312-386-7795

February 4, 2019

SPRINGFIELD
I hope everyone survived the frigid cold with no issues. The House cancelled session early due to the cold weather, but the Senate stayed in. Not much of substance, aside from a subject matter hearing on the minimum wage, was discussed. Legislators continue to file bills, though not much has hit yet. The onslaught will happen though, sorry.
 
The House announced its Committee makeups Friday afternoon. The list is here. While Committees are posting and a few scheduled for this week, it's more than likely many bills won't be called yet. Committees of note for the Energy Council are below. There are a lot of new members on many of these committees.
 
House Public Utilities: C hair - Larry Walsh. Republican Spokesperson - Keith Wheeler
House Energy and Environment: Chair - Ann Williams. Republican Spokesperson - David Welter
House Agriculture: Chair - Jerry Costello. Republican Spokesperson - Charles Meier
House Judiciary - Civil: Chair - Andre Thapedi. Republicans Spokesperson - Margo McDermed
 
Senate Energy and Public Utilities: Chair - Bill Cunningham. Republican Spokesperson - Sue Rezin
Senate Environment and Conservation: Chair - Melinda Bush. Republican Spokesperson - Jim Oberweis
 
Schedule for the Week
Tuesday
House Public Utilities posted a hearing for 2pm and listed HB211, 212, 213, and 214. These are flagged as possible vehicles for other legislation pertaining to EV's, emerging technologies, electric procurement, capacity market reforms, or other changes to Illinois electricity sector.

House Energy and Environment meets at 3pm. Posted is HB282, which would prohibit wells that utilize horizontal or directional extensions from a vertical bore hole from classifying as confidential.  Currently, Illinois allows these wells to be classified as confidential for two years. This bill is a repeat from last year that passed the Senate and likely won't be called this week. As background, Senator Koehler had introduced SB3174 on behalf of a group of activist constituents and moved it through the Senate. The bill was referred to the House Agriculture Subcommittee and not considered in the House, nor was there much appetite to discuss it in that chamber. The Chamber opposed the bill as there is no need to reopen the fracking law for a bill that is only interested in making it tougher for fracking to actually happen in Illinois. 
 
Wednesday
Senate Revenue meets at 5pm. SB29 (Bush) is posted. The bill would create the Illinois Energy Transition Zone Act. It provides that certain energy enterprises located in Energy Transitions Zones can receive tax incentives for job creation and economic development. Energy Transition Zones are areas of the state that have experienced the closing of a coal plant, coal mine, nuclear facility within ten years of the application date and/or a community that contains a decommissioned nuclear plant and stores nuclear waste onsite. Eligible energy enterprises are solar, wind, water, geothermal, bioenergy, and hydrogen fuel and cells. The bill was posted for last week as well but the Committee cancelled.
 
New Bills Introduced This Week
HB1562 (Guzzardi) which requires the written consent of every mineral owner before fracking may begin. This is a repeat from last year, where it was moved to the Workforce Reconciliation Subcommittee. We opposed the bill.
 
HB1563 (Crespo) would require utility lines to be put underground under certain conditions and be able to recover costs.
 
HB1575 (Spain) creates the Rural Utility Infrastructure Investment program, offering grants to rural communities for infrastructure. Funding would come from gas and electricity excise taxes.
 
SB211 (Bennett) allows the state, for construction purposes, to enter into energy conservation contracts or energy saving contracts that provide utility savings.
 
SB246 (Fine) removes contracts for fuel, and other petroleum products, from competitive bidding in park districts. Competitive bids usually go to the lowest bidder and this may be an effort to further scrutinize those contracts. Senator Fine has the coal tar ban bills when she was in the House.
 
WASHINGTON D.C.
  • For those interested, the U.S. House Committee roster is here. Two weeks ago, I sent out info on the assignments for the Illinois members we knew about.
  • With all the rhetoric and media soundbites for a Green New Deal being discussed, a bill will be produced in the coming weeks that will lay out the asks of its proponents. The bill will be sponsored by Senator Ed Markey (sponsor of cap and trade in 2009) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
  • The House will kick off a series of hearings this week focused on climate change. The Natural Resources Committee meets Wednesday to discuss climate change's impact on American communities and Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change will examine the environmental and economic impacts of climate change.
SECOND ANNUAL WOMEN IN BUSINESS CONFERENCE
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is hosting its second Women in Business conference on March 15th, 2019 at Pinstripes in Oak Brook, IL. The event will bring together business leaders across the State to encourage women to invest in themselves, become courageous leaders, and be a force in their careers. Our panel topics this year provide that, focusing on practices to better diversify corporations and understanding why diversity brings more business success; individual communication tactics to send a message of confidence; and learning from proven influencers on the skills that can help you get to where you want to be professionally. These panels will be capped with keynote addresses by inspiring speakers to embolden attendees to blaze their own path. The event will end with a networking and social event.

For more information, the agenda, sponsorship information, and how to register, visit the conference website!

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