Sunday, October 02, 2005
Crain's explains power play between ComEd and Illinois
Steve Daniels does the best job I've seen in laying out the conflict between shareholders of ComEd and Illinoisians. The dozen or so nuclear power plants in Illinois produce the cheapest electricity in the country - 1.2 cents per kilowatt. Dirty coal is 1.6 cents. But natural gas, which was supposed to be cheaper, ten times as expensive at 13.3 cents. So the national market price for power is around 5 cents. Who should get the benefit of this cheap nuclear power? ComEd shareholders? (ignoring the subsidiary question, since the nukes are owned by a sister company to ComEd) Or Illinoisians? Illinois is clearly better off if we get the benefit, and that is basically what the public policy dispute is about. The full article is worth a read in the 9.26.05 issue.