Executive Director
Energy Council


November 9, 2018

Election Day has come and gone, but not after some major changes in state government. JB Pritzker was elected Governor, Senator Kwame Raoul is AG, and the rest of the constitutional officers are also Democrats. There are super majorities in both Chambers, 11 new Senators and 20 new House members. I put together a list of how the races shook out and sharing it here. New members are highlighted in green. The Chicago Sun-Times also has a great breakdown of all the races in Illinois and local races in Chicago. The Governor will be sworn in on January 14 th and the General Assembly on January 9 th.
At the federal level, Democrats took back the House but not the Senate. While a handful of races have not been called ( 12 to be exact), the current count sits at 225 D's, 197 R's. 218 gets you a majority in the House. The Senate will be 51 R's, 44 D's, and 2 I's. Three seats have not officially been called and Florida may be heading for a recount. In Illinois, many of our Members of Congress are in good positions for committee leadership. Crain's speculates on where they could end up.
Around the country, energy issues were on the ballot in many states.
  • The state of Washington had a carbon fee ballot measure (its second go at the ballot box and third overall) to impose a carbon fee on large emitters to fund a range of clean-energy initiatives.
  • Colorado rejected a requirement that new drilling must be 2,500ft from any building or residential area. The measure would have effectively banned any new drilling in Colorado.
  • Arizonians said no to increasing the state's renewable energy requirement to 50% by 2030.
  • Florida banned offshore drilling.
  • Nevada rejected consumer choice and opening the retail electricity market to competition by 2023, but voted to approve an RPS for Nevada and increase it to 50% by 2030.
Despite a totally new electorate come January, we still have to finish out the 100 th General Assembly. Veto session starts back on Tuesday, November 13 th. The House and Senate are both in. While no major legislation is anticipated on the energy and environment front, there is still some activity that will keep us busy.
Tuesday, November 13
House Environment is scheduled to meet at 3pm, or after session. Three bills are posted.
HB5983 and HB5985 are both bills in response to the Sterigenics Willowbrook Facility ethylene oxide issue. Leader Jim Durkin has said he wants to move his bill (HB5983) out of Committee and hold it on second reading to allow for stakeholders to meet.
HB5983 which allows for ethylene oxide to be used only if the IEPA certifies there is no substitute. Further, it requires the IEPA to immediately reevaluate emissions standards and regulations for ethylene oxide and issue new ones. They would have 30 days to issue that proposal to the Pollution Control Board. The bill would also ban the use of ethylene oxide by January 1, 2022.
HB5985 is similar to HB5983 but bans its use a year earlier and includes a private right of action.
SB3549 sets forth reporting and inspection requirements for facilities that sit on the footprint of the Mahomet Aquifer. This issue came up during regular session in response to a natural gas leak over the Mahomet Aquifer last year.
Wednesday, November 14
The House Public Utilities Committee posted for a subject matter hearing on EPA Rule Changes. The hearing is expected to be a continuation of the hearing held back in October on the proposed Affordable Clean Energy rule. According to staff, Vice-Chairman Thapedi would like to hear more from stakeholders now that the USEPA comment period has closed. The Chamber testified at the last hearing in Chicago and spoke to the importance of establishing a robust stakeholder process. The hearing is scheduled for 3pm, or after session.
New Bills of Note
SB241, Amdt 1 (Munoz) has been amended to require that the Illinois EPA notify the State Senator, State Representative and the public within 15 days from when an application is filed for a Clean Air and Clean Water Act permit. The bill may be heard in Senate Executive on Tuesday, Nov. 13 th at 2pm.
SB3633 allows for a municipality to establish and collect a nuclear storage impact fee for a nuclear facility that operated within its jurisdiction but has since closed. Senator Bush has introduced this bill for some time.
Senate Environment has scheduled a subject matter hearing on the ethylene oxide issue and two bills have posted to the Committee. Those bills achieve similar provisions as the House bills.
SB3630 directs the IEPA to reevaluate the permit for any facility operating ethylene oxide and conduct a 90-pday public hearing process on such permits, and, in the event of a leak, the facility must notice all affected property owners and local government within 2,500 feet of the leak site.
SB3640 is identical to HB5983.

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