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Op-ed: Illinois is running out of time to save jobs and protect its energy future

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On Tuesday, the Illinois legislature returns to Springfield for a special session that will allow lawmakers to pass an energy bill that could save Illinois’ nuclear fleet and the thousands of jobs and countless communities that depend on it.

Illinois is less than a month away from the scheduled shutdown of the Byron Generating Station and less than three months from the shutdown of the Dresden Generating Station.

We are running out of days to save 1,500 permanent well-paying jobs, 2,000 supplemental jobs and the carbon-free energy these two plants provide to Illinois ratepayers.

Saving these plants isn’t just about preventing theeconomic devastation that will undoubtedly be felt throughout our Illinois communities for decades. Protecting the plants will also support green energy throughout the state. About 54% of Illinois’ total electricity and 90% of Illinois’ carbon-free energy come from our state’s nuclear fleet. Byron and Dresden alone contribute about a third of the state’s carbon-free energy. If lawmakers allow these two nuclear power plants to be decommissioned, they will eliminate any chance of achieving Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s goal of a carbon-free Illinois by........

© Chicago Tribune

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