by QC Online
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has ruled in favor of the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act and zero-emissions credit program.
In February, competitors of Chicago-based Exelon Corp. filed a lawsuit opposing the act, which will keep the Quad Cities Generating Station near Cordova open for the next 10 years.
The legislation, approved in December, provides $235 million per year to Exelon to keep nuclear plants running in Cordova and Clinton, Ill. It also caps rate increases for Commonwealth Edison and Ameren customers at 25 cents per month for average residential customers over the 13-year life of the bill, with the commercial-use rate increase capped at 1.3 percent, based on 2015 billings.
The legislation protects about 900 jobs at the nuclear power plant near Cordova and $7.99 million in property tax revenue for Rock Island County.
On Friday, Judge Manish Shah dismissed complaints against the state in Electric Power Supply Association v. Star, rejecting claims that the Future Energy Jobs Act was unconstitutional and preempted under the Federal Power Act.
“The District Court’s decision today supports Illinois’s efforts to reduce climate pollution, expand clean energy, and create jobs,” said Michael Panfil, Environmental Defense Fund senior attorney . “It will have profound benefits for the health, safety and prosperity of families in Illinois.”
The lawsuit alleged the subsidies undermined wholesale power markets that are the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government. The Environmental Defense Fund — together with Elevate Energy, Citizens Utility Board and the Respiratory Health Alliance — filed a “friend of the court” brief in support of the state.
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