Four lawmakers issue statement on nuclear power plants

BYRON — Four Republican state lawmakers issued a joint statement last week calling for action to preserve the Byron and Dresden nuclear power plants.

Sen. Sue Rezin, deputy party leader from Morris, Sen. Brian Stewart of Freeport, Rep. Tom Demmer, deputy party leader from Dixon, and GOP conference chairman Rep. David Welter of Morris called on the General Assembly to convene so it could pass legislation that would guarantee that the plants would stay online.

“If action is not taken soon, tens of thousands of workers will lose their livelihoods, millions of utility customers across Illinois will begin paying higher energy costs, and we will all suffer an immediate environmental impact equivalent to putting 4.4 million additional cars on the road, emitting carbon and other harmful sources of air pollution,” the joint statement said.

“Too much is at stake to wait for the demands of every individual interest group to be satisfied in a comprehensive energy package,” the statement continued. “Time is of the essence. We cannot wait until later this autumn to protect energy jobs, protect our environment, and prevent dramatic rate hikes on utility customers.”

Stewart and Demmer represent the district that includes the Byron Generating Station in Ogle County. Rezin and Welter represent the district that includes the Dresden Generating Station in Grundy County.

Exelon Generation, owner of the nuclear plants at Byron and Dresden, filed decommission reports on July 28. These are procedural steps required by law to retire the two plants. Exelon said that would happen without intervention by the Legislature.