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Byron nuclear plant could be saved; Illinois Senate passes clean energy bill

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WREX) — The Byron nuclear plant is one step closer to remaining open after Illinois senators pass the clean energy bill early Wednesday morning. The bill still needs approval from the House and Governor J.B. Pritzker.

The House and Senate returned for a one-day special session on Tuesday to address legislative redistricting, but the clean energy bill was brought up for a vote while lawmakers were together.

One issue standing in the way of full approval is decarbonization of coal plants, like Prairie State Energy and CWLP Reynolds Power Plant.

The Pritzker administration hopes to close all coal plants in the state by 2035, however, the two plants were commissioned less than 15 years ago. A large group of lawmakers say they won’t vote for an energy bill unless there is a hard closing date for those coal plants by 2035.

Back in July, Exelon filed to decommission the Byron plant. Since then, lawmakers have continued to work on legislation to that would preserve it.

The Byron plant is scheduled to shut down this month.

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Maggie Polsean

Maggie Polsean is an anchor for 13 News Today. Born and raised in Rockford, she is excited to be back home working for the station she grew up watching. Maggie is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and Christian Life high school in Rockford.

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