Executive Director
Energy Council


APRIL 24, 2018

The next quarterly meeting of the Energy, Environment, and Infrastructure Councils will be a joint event, hosted by Schiff Hardin. Our guest speaker 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
Please RSVP here.
This week is the deadline for 3 rd reading in the House and Senate, so things will move quickly and change. Here is a quick recap of what happened last week and what is going on this week.

Last week, Senate Energy met to receive a presentation from a group of Loyola University students on carbon pricing options. No other testimony was received. The Chamber was set to testify but was asked by staff to hold off to give the students the opportunity to speak to the Committee. In exchange, the Chamber sent a note to staff cautioning any activity at the state level on carbon pricing. No activity is expected this year, but it's possible the topic could come up next year and is something we should discuss. More on that later.

This week, Senate Energy meets at 10am on Thursday to consider an additional amendment to Senator Rezin's bill that makes a series of clean-ups for the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Senate Environment  canceled its hearing on Wednesday. For this week , 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. Senator Aquino said this a request change was a request of the proponents. SB2706, Amdt 1 (Rose) has been introduced affecting underground natural gas storage facilities. According the staff, the bill is to bring Illinois regulations in line with federal. I've asked affected members for feedback.

SB2806, Amdt 1 (Althoff) would prohibit IDNR from permitting construction on any private land on waterfront property and land exposed due to reliction in rivers in which property taxes are paid. The impetus for the bill, according to staff, is a citizen in Senator Althoff's district that wanted to construct a pool and IDNR is coming in to say they have to obtain certain permits.

SB3548 and SB3549 (Rose) both received a technical amendment. The bills are in third reading in the Senate, amendments have been referred to Senate Environment and Conservation Committee for Thursday . These bills set forth reporting and inspection requirements for facilities that sit on the footprint of the Mahomet Aquifer.

On the floor a few bills of note moved to third reading this week: SB3174 (Koehler) would prohibit wells that utilize horizontal or directional extensions from a vertical bore hole from classifying as confidential. We opposed the bill. Currently, Illinois allows these wells to be classified as confidential for two years. An amendment was added to the bill, drafted by IDNR, that further spells out the protections for proprietary information. However, when the Hydraulic Fracturing Act was agreed to, small wells were left out of disclosures. There is no need to reopen the bill past further interest in making it tougher for fracking to actually happen in Illinois, which it is not currently. The bill is an initiative of People's Action, the Sierra Club, and the Illinois Environmental Council;

SB2480 (Hastings) is on 3 rd reading as well.  The bill will have the effect of requiring all construction and maintenance work at privately owned petroleum refineries and petrochemical facilities within the state to be exclusively performed by members of certain trade unions. It requires a certain percentage of all workers to have successfully completed apprenticeship training, and requires the use of prevailing wage rate for private work. We are opposed to the bill;
SB3309 (Schmipf) would bring Illinois law in line with the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act provisions; and

SB3051, which provides that the ICC establish a program to promote the expanded use of energy saving programs for residential and small business customers.

Last week, House Public Utilities canceled its hearing Tuesday, but rescheduled a hearing to Thursday evening. Considered was HB5752 (Finnie), which creates the Broadband Advisory Council.

Public Utilities posted a hearing for Tuesday at 4.30pm to consider HB1187, Amdt 1&2, legislation affecting small cell wireless facilities.

House Environment met and passed out HR875 (Ammons), which calls on state government to pursue policies that prioritize replacing lead-based water infrastructure in Illinois and it encourages municipalities to do the same; and HB1439, Amdt 1, which affects electronic recycling.

This week, the Committee will meet on Tuesday at 4pm to consider an amendment to HB5198 (Walsh), which makes some technical changes to the bill. The Chamber supports the measure.

House Energy met and passed HR847 (Olsen) urges Governor Rauner and Secretary of State White to have all State agencies look at ways to reduce energy consumption in state facilities, and to adopt a policy to turn off all non-essential lights at the end of the day.

They are meeting this week (Tuesday) for a subject matter hearing on the Volkswagen Settlement Beneficiary Mitigation Plan. The Chamber supports the IEPA's plan and will be testifying.

HB4651/ SB2591 (Meier/Bennett) both bills received an amendment, but negotiations remain ongoing. The bills would expand the Wind Energy Facilities Agriculture Impact Mitigation Act (AIMA) requirements to solar facilities, but would also require solar installers to sign an AIMA before speaking with land owners.   The amendments have been referred to House Energy and Senate Energy Committees, respectively, and may be considered this week.

Finally, HB4236, Amdt2 (Phillips) passed out of House Agriculture on Tuesday and is on 2 nd reading in the House. 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.
The Energy Council is engaged on three working groups through the NextGrid process. The first meeting of those three met last Wednesday. Working Group 4, Customer and Community Participation primarily held a discussion on how we'd like to see the working group move forward, what each groups priorities are, and what we'd like to discuss. The business community was represented by me and one other group - see the attached group list. Much of the discussion was focused on residential customers and debating, essentially, on if those in industry can determine what customers want out of their electricity companies. Takeaways were that the discussion moving forward may focus on customer empowerment, education, marketing, and consumer protection.  

The next meeting for Working Group 4 is scheduled for May Working Group 5 will hold its first meeting on May 14 th.

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