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Environmental Groups To Contest Ameren Ruling

power lines
Eric Bueneman
Flickr.com/n0uih (cc-by-nc)
An Ameren electric transmission line.

Environmental groups are criticizing Ameren Illinois for what they describe as backing away from energy efficiency goals.

The efficiency targets were part of a big state energy law passed last year. It’s main purpose was to keep two of Illinois' nuclear power plants open. The investment in “clean energy” was part of the deal.

But Ameren says it cannot meet its efficiency goals, at least not cost effectively. And now the Illinois Commerce Commission is basically saying: OK.

Christie Hicks, with the Environmental Defense Fund, says Ameren has “abandoned commitments."

"They’re denying their customers important energy savings, economic savings, environmental benefits," Hicks says. "It’s very disappointing.”

She says by contrast, Chicago-based utility ComEd is meeting even tougher targets.

In a statement, Ameren says its plan "will result in customer cost decreases.” The company also says it "remains committed to achievement of the agreed upon savings target of 13 percent by 2025."

The Environmental Defense Fund says it will ask the Illinois Commerce Commission to reconsider its decision.

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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