As you know, the IMA has been engaged in the energy debate for decades because the cost of electricity is often times one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive cost for manufacturers. Illinois’ competitive energy marketplace is a major benefit for Illinois businesses that have saved billions of dollars since deregulation was implemented in 1997. We strongly believe in an “all of the above” approach where our state utilizes nuclear, coal, natural gas, and renewable sources of energy.
For the past two years, Illinois has had a robust discussion on energy policy with three competing proposals filed last year. The three main proponents worked over the summer to try and achieve consensus and filed a bill last week that contained elements of all three proposals. The IMA was in the process of reviewing the bill but offered testimony in the House Energy Committee where we talked about the importance of energy while voicing concerns about the cost of the measure.
In the last week, the IMA has had dozens of calls and meetings with various stakeholders including utilities, lawmakers, Governor’s office, Attorney General, environmental community, and others. Numerous tweaks and changes were offered by other stakeholders and considered by the IMA. But our most important calls and discussions were with IMA members who have pay for the cost of the energy programs at the end of the day. We have spoken to many small and medium-sized manufacturers because the impact is not limited solely to large industrial companies.
Yesterday afternoon, the proponents offered yet another proposal and the IMA participated in a nearly five-hour meeting with dozens of impacted parties. We reviewed the latest proposal last night and this morning and had additional calls with our member companies. Ultimately, the changes that were made did not address the cost concerns of the IMA and industrial community.
The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association is officially opposed to the latest draft energy amendment to SB 2814.