energy

Illinois Issues: Frackonomics

Dec 16, 2016
Richard Sitler / The Southern Illinoisan

A few years ago, Illinois adopted regulations for high-volume horizontal fracking, but it was slow to get the permitting process up and running.

Those in southern Illinois who were hoping for an economic boom have since seen the promise of fracking go bust. 

Richard Sitler / The Southern Illinoisan

No permits for horizontal hydraulic fracturing have been issued since the Illinois Department of Natural Resources started taking applications in the fall of 2014. Even so, there were some in Grayville who believed that a well was fracked in October under the new law. 

nuclear cooling tower
Adam Winsor / flickr.com/avius (CC-BY-NC)

Illinois legislators are considering whether to approve an energy deal on behalf of power company Exelon. Without it, the corporation says it will close its nuclear plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Exelon says without a special deal from Illinois lawmakers, the company will close nuclear plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities. And with just one more week of veto session, what are the prospects for a full budget deal before the end of the year — or 2019?

Exelon is amping up its threat to close three nuclear power plants, unless there's help from the legislature.

The company says it's not a bailout and instead argues its trying to level the playing field. Illinois already gives some incentives for renewable sources, like energy and wind.

Supporters of Exelon's measure, like Democratic Rep. Larry Walsh, Jr. of Joliet, say nuclear power deserves that push.

http://franky242.net/shop/image/pile-of-black-coal/

There's a new player in a battle over energy policy that's playing out at the Illinois Capitol. Exelon wants support for its nuclear plants, a renewable energy coalition wants to require more wind and solar, and now a coal company and its supporters want in on the action.

The latest push would give the state's coal industry a boost.

Amanda Vinicky

After issuing warnings it may have to close down half its nuclear fleet, Exelon today introduced a proposal it says would keep them open. It signals the start of what's expected to be a long debate over Illinois' energy policy. 

Exelon is one of Illinois' biggest, and most powerful corporations.

If every acre of U.S. corn went from the farm field to the fuel pump, ethanol still would fall woefully short of quenching our nation's thirst for fossil fuels. That conclusion came this summer from University of Minnesota researchers, who had only slightly better news for backers of soybean-based biodiesel.

Peggy Boyer Long
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Among my memories of the 1970s — filed between images of motorists seething in long gas lines and Iranian militants kidnapping U.S. embassy staff — is the picture of President Jimmy Carter on national television in the winter of 1977 announcing his new energy policy.

Wearing a practical, grandfatherly cardigan, Carter managed to wrap the growing global energy crisis in old-fashioned can-do. Americans could, Carter assured them, reduce their dependence on oil if they simply used less of it.

Retrospective Part 3: Three decades of public affairs journalism

Dec 1, 2004

Sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same. A perusal of back issues of this magazine yields a striking continuity in many of the policy questions state officials have wrestled with over the past 30 years. We highlight a few here. This long view offers an opportunity to get in on the beginning, then see how things turned out. In some instances, as we point out, even the best intentions can go awry. Whether public officials cover the same ground or change course, whether they move forward or fall back, the past can provide a bridge to the future.