Exelon Pushes for Rate Hike to Aid Ailing Nuclear Plants

Power producer Exelon and its Illinois subsidiary Commonwealth Edison are pushing to get legislators in Springfield to pass legislation that they say is needed to aid financially struggling nuclear power plants.

If that aid is not forthcoming, Exelon has said it may have to close its nuclear plants in Clinton, as well as in the Quad Cities.

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The bill that was presented to legislators is complex and runs to more than 440 pages, but one of the key elements would be a change in the way customers are charged, with a plan to introduce so-called "demand pricing."  In other words, your electricity would cost more if used during peak hours.

But critics claim that this could send charges soaring, hurting many, including seniors on fixed incomes and businesses who would have to pay more.

Joining Chicago Tonight to explain how this legislation could impact you are David Fein, vice president for State and Government Affairs at Exelon; Fidel Marquz, senior vice president for Government and External Affairs at ComEd; Bob Gallo, Illinois state director for AARP; and Cara Hendrickson, who is the chief of the Public Interest Division at the Office of the Illinois Attorney General.

Hendrickson's boss, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, has been very critical of the proposed legislation. Gallo is also a critic of the bill.

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