Wilcox: 'What we have here is the largest utility hike in history'

State Sen. Craig Wilcox (R-McHenry) sees only trouble in the state’s new clean energy bill.

“What we have here is the largest utility hike in history, along with less reliable energy that Illinois will likely have to import from other states,” Wilcox said in a post to Facebook.

Wilcox joins a number of Republican lawmakers viewing the measure as being wrong for Illinois, with Republican colleague Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) going as far as to predict the changes will “cost every ratepayer in this state more money.”

Tracy sees Pritzker ruining what had been a good thing.

“The one thing Illinois has had going for it for years is reliable and affordable energy,” she said in a video posted to YouTube. “It seems like we’re trying to set a standard that maybe will put us in a position where we have to import energy from the same carbon that we’re trying to get away from.”

State Rep. Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich) is also voicing concern, recently warning in a press release “the availability of affordable and reliable energy for Illinois residents is in jeopardy thanks to legislation rammed through the House.”

Noting that the legislation could mean a $700 million-plus bailout for northern Illinois nuclear power company ComEd, he added, “this legislation is nothing but a goodie bag for special interests.”

Tracy said she has no problem with keeping the state’s energy companies at home, but argues that could have been accomplished in a separate bill. She said it’s all the unneeded add-ons that make the situation unacceptable.

“It was joined with a lot of other provisions that were driven by environmentalists,” she said. ”Certainly, I want clean air; we all do. But first we have to recognize that we are energy users – Illinoisans are not an island – our neighboring states produce and use carbon products.”