State Representative David Allen Welter, R-Morris, issued the following statement today in response to Exelon’s announcement that the company plans to retire Dresden Station by November 2021:
“I have been in regular communication with Exelon and other state and local leaders in an effort to save Dresden Station since February 2019 when Exelon publicly stated they were considering closing the plant in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. In the intervening 18 months I have made every effort to support the 804 men and women who work at Dresden and the 865 indirect jobs they support. To say that today’s announcement by Exelon is a major disappointment is an understatement. Disappointment does not even begin to scratch the surface of my frustration.
Less than four years ago, the state approved a multi-billion dollar package for Exelon to keep their nuclear power plants in the Quad Cities and Clinton open. I supported that package with the understanding that both Exelon and my colleagues in the Illinois General Assembly shared my commitment to protect the nuclear jobs here in our community. Dresden Station is an integral component of Illinois’ energy infrastructure and the jobs they provide are critical to local families. Dresden Station’s total contribution to the Grundy County economy is estimated to be over $357 million; which represents 11.5% of the total GDP of the County. This tax base provides critical support for our school districts, higher education and local government services.”
Exelon’s plan to retire Dresden Station is a direct result of Governor Pritzker and Speaker Madigan’s failure to bring comprehensive energy legislation up for a vote at any point during the last two years. As the Republican Spokesperson on the Energy and Environment Committee, I have been calling for bipartisan negotiations to pass a Future Energy Jobs Act that would protect our local nuclear jobs. The fact is, the Governor and his allies in the General Assembly have not made energy a priority. It is not too late. I will continue to work every day to pressure the Governor and my fellow state legislators to keep the Dresden Station and nuclear plants viable. At the same time, I will work actively with our local coalition to mitigate the negative impacts to our community should Dresden Station ultimately close.”
Representative Welter serves the 75th District, which includes portions of Grundy, Kendall, LaSalle and Will Counties.