For Immediate Release: August 27, 2020
Contact: Mark Brueggenjohann 202-728-6014
IBEW President Lonnie Stephenson on the Retiring of the Byron and Dresden Nuclear Plants.
IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson issued the following statement regarding the retiring of the Byron and Dresden nuclear plants.
“The announcement that Exelon Generation would be forced to retire the Byron and Dresden nuclear plants, located in northern Illinois, is a big blow on so many levels. It’s a strike against the economy because it will cost Illinois thousands of middle-class jobs. It’s a disaster for the local community, which counts on these plants to supply nearly $63 million in tax revenue. And it’s a setback to Illinois’s ambitious efforts to combat climate change and eliminate greenhouse gases from its energy mix.
'This news again reminds America how crucial nuclear power is. Both because of the good jobs it supports and because its critical to meeting our goal to create a zero-carbon emitting economy. Nuclear power makes up 90% of Illinois’s clean-energy mix. These retirements will jeopardize the progress Gov. J. B. Pritzker has made in meeting the state's greenhouse gas emissions targets.
'Both facilities are safe and efficient, but the drastic drop in gas and oil prices, plus outmoded regulations, has made it difficult for nuclear to compete in the open marketplace.
‘It’s clear we can’t afford to lose any more nuclear plants. Our economy and our climate future are at stake. Lawmakers from both parties must come together to protect America's largest source of clean power: nuclear.
‘‘The IBEW will continue to work with Exelon, Illinois lawmakers and regulators to help keep these plants open and producing clean energy and thousands of workers on the job.”
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents approximately 775,000 members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including construction, utilities, manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting, railroads and government.