Lawsuit against Exelon subsidies draws reaction

Supporters and opponents of the Future Energy Jobs Act weigh in

Illinois' Future Energy Jobs Act was credited with keeping thousands of energy jobs in the Quad Cities. The legislation provides subsidies to Exelon as long as it keeps running its plants in Cordova and Clinton. Now it's being hit with a lawsuit. 
 
Exelon was quick to release a statement slamming the lawsuit. Other supporters of the initial Future Energy Jobs Bill were quick to point out how many jobs and people it would affect if this legislation is struck down. Meanwhile, opponents of the measure say this lawsuit is no surprise. 
 
"While this legislation was happening, I think everybody expected that this litigation would come," said Abraham Scarr, the director of the Illinois Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). 
 
PIRG is a bipartisan nonprofit that advocates for the public's interests. Scarr says the case against the Future Energy Jobs Act has merit.
 
"We transitioned here in Illinois to a competitive marketplace for energy generation over a decade ago, and the federal government has jurisdiction over that competitive regional marketplace for power generation, and by subsidizing these power plants, Illinois is effectively putting its thumb on the scale and messing with those markets in a way that they don't necessarily have the authority to do," Scarr said. 
 
Bill Stoermer, the spokesperson for the Exelon power station in Cordova, released a statement saying, "Exelon opposes misguided and parochial efforts to block state policymakers from taking legitimate steps to protect the environment and promote sound economic policies for their citizens."
 
Exelon is not the only organization speaking up against the lawsuit. Local 4 News also spoke to a spokesman for the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition Billy Weinberg.
 
"It suggests that big, polluting industries would rather shackle Illinoisans to higher costs and dangerous fuels of the past rather than invest in Illinois' bright, clean energy future," Weinberg said. 
 
Weinberg went on to say if this lawsuit moves forward, it would only affect the Exelon power plants in Clinton and Cordova, not necessarily other renewable energy efforts. 

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