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Legislators Wary Of Governor On Nuclear Deal

Daniel Schwen
Wikimedia Commons
Exelon's Clinton Power Station, along with the corporation's plant near the Quad Cities, has been threatened with closure.

Exelon says it finally has a deal to subsidize its nuclear energy plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities. The corporation says Governor Bruce Rauner’s support was key.

But some Illinois legislators are nervous the governor might change his mind.

You remember those Charlie Brown specials, where Lucy promises she’ll hold the football?

“You just want me to come running up to kick that ball so you can pull it away and see me lie flat on my back and kill myself," Charlie says.

On Wednesday afternoon, after weeks of intense negotiating, ComEd and Exelon put out a news release saying they had a deal thanks to Gov. Rauner.

But the administration did not support the bill publicly at an Illinois House hearing. And it's not responded to repeated media inquiries about where Rauner stands.

That has some state legislators on edge.

Linda Chapa LaVia is a Democrat from Aurora and heads the House Energy Committee. “It has happened in the past where we get to a point where it gets to the governor’s desk, and then we take a wrong direction,” she says.

Thursday is the final day Illinois legislators are scheduled to meet this year. Exelon says it's the last chance to keep open its nuclear plants.

Brian Mackey covers state government for NPR Illinois. You can follow his reporting on Twitter and Facebook.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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