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Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

Kinzinger Introduces New Legislation To Save Nuclear Power Plants

Sarah Jesmer
Congressman Kinzinger at NIU

An Illinois congressman recently introduced legislation to help keep two nuclear power plants in his district from closing. 



Power company Exelon announced last summer that it plans to close its Byron and Dresden Generating Stations in 2021. But 16th District Representative Adam Kinzinger said Illinois -- and the country -- get a significant amount of electricity from nuclear.

“And if those things close," Kinzinger said, "it has an impact on that community, economically, of course, but also has an impact on how are you going to reach your green energy targets if these big, baseload plants that are green are coming off the grid?” 


The Preserving Existing Nuclear Energy Generation Act establishes two new programs. One is an "emissions avoidance" program that would allocate financial credits to nuclear power stations. The other would authorize government funding to help communities impacted by recent nuclear facility closures. 


  • Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.
Juanpablo covers environmental, substandard housing and police-community relations. He’s been a bilingual facilitator at the StoryCorps office in Chicago. As a civic reporting fellow at City Bureau, a non-profit news organization that focuses on Chicago’s South Side, Ramirez-Franco produced print and audio stories about the Pilsen neighborhood. Before that, he was a production intern at the Third Coast International Audio Festival and the rural America editorial intern at In These Times magazine. Ramirez-Franco grew up in northern Illinois. He is a graduate of Knox College.