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Perspective: Careful What You Wish For

Victoria Lunacek

Careful what you wish for: Shutting down the Byron and Dresden power plants will reap what misguided policy has sown.

ComEd Exelon have started the process to shut down four of the best, highest performing reactors in the USA and destroy more than 35,232,000 carbon-free megawatts of power in Illinois every year because of the failed policy of tax breaks for carbon free energy -- except nuclear, our greatest source of green energy.

And it won’t be small windmills and fragile solar with expensive batteries that replace baseload nuclear. Electricity will be imported from other states and generated from coal and gas turbines.

Less than 4% of our power will ever come from toxic wind and solar -- about 1/10th of what Illinois gets today from nuclear.

But this closure is the hope and dream of many misguided activists. Well, careful what you wish for. Let us count the ways we will all pay for this tragic decision:

  • Loss of carbon-free power for five million homes and businesses.
  • Our state will lose any relevance to the Hydrogen economy if these plants are closed.
  • Illinois will get to be the Midwest California, with rolling blackouts, rising emissions from coal and NOx emissions from gas generators and toxic waste from failed renewable projects.
  • Illinois will lose millions of acres of the best farmland for intermittent, unreliable renewable projects, poison-filled batteries and new transmission lines cutting through the heart of our state.
  • The loss of nearly 2,000 direct jobs paying $100,000 a year and 8,000 indirect jobs.
  • Taking away millions in local taxes and income taxes. $63 million just in property taxes for the plants. And $19 billion in economic activity for the region.
  • An estimated 100,000 families will leave Illinois as a direct result of this decision.

Illinois was in the middle of an economic downward spiral before a years-long COVID pandemic. How will Grundy, Ogle and Winnebago counties make up for that?

Finally, this closing of plants decades prematurely, and the loss of jobs and population during a monster economic tsunami and a years-long pandemic will statistically lead to 1 suicide for every 4,000 firings.

The misguided promoters of toxic renewables will finally get their dream of a handicapped Illinois with unreliable, hugely expensive, electricity -- destroying industry, shattering communities and extinguishing lives. Their dream will be our nightmare

I am John Kutsch and that is my perspective.