WASHINGTON (WREX) — Congressman Adam Kinzinger sent a letter to President Biden and members of his administration asking them to use emergency powers to keep the Byron Nuclear Plant open.
Congressman Kinzinger wants President Biden to keep both the Byron and Dresden nuclear plants open at least until Springfield or Washington can enact new laws to level the energy playing field and help financially-struggling plants.
Here's the statement Congressman Kinzinger issued following the letter to the president:
“The failure of leadership in Springfield has been astonishing, and has now made the closures of Byron and Dresden imminent. Despite the fact that Congress is finally poised to pass my bipartisan legislation—the Preserving Existing Nuclear Energy Generation Act, which provides a financial credit program to these plants and others—the program would still take time to implement. And while such legislation would be able to help other struggling nuclear plants around the country, it is unlikely to be able to help Byron or Dresden as they are slated to close in the coming weeks.
“This, of course, is a serious problem and one that requires swift action. My constituents and the communities I serve are desperately asking me for help, so I’m pulling out all the stops.
“As laid out in my letter to the President, there are existing legal authorities for the Biden Administration to save these plants from closure. Therefore, I’m making an urgent plea that they employ these powers to keep our plants online. There are plenty of reasons why this is beneficial: for energy independence and resilience, preservation of sufficient non-emitting baseload power, climate preservation, public health, national defense and security, etc. We cannot turn a blind eye to this problem any longer; we have to save our nuclear plants.
“If Springfield lacks the will to save these plants, and if Congress cannot act quickly enough, then it’s time for the President to step in and consider every possible action to support nuclear power in favor of our collective security—including the security of energy resources, the climate, the economy, and the nation.”
Exelon Generation, owner of the Byron Nuclear Plant, filed a decommission report last month. It's among the final steps in retiring the Byron Nuclear Plant.
The filings are among the final steps in retiring the plants, which face revenue shortfalls in the hundreds of millions of dollars due to low energy prices and market policies that give fossil fuel plants an unfair competitive advantage.
Shortly after Exelon filed for decommission, several lawmakers called for action to be taken to help save the plants.
If nothing changes, one of Byron's reactors will close on Sept. 14, with the other one closing two days later.
You can read the congressman's full letter below. (Click here if you're reading this story on the 13 WREX news app.)
The original article and video coverage can be found on the 13WREX website here.