From Our Local Leaders

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Buster Barton, Superintendent Byron Community School District #226

The Byron Nuclear Power Station has been supporting Byron Community Unit School District and several other taxing bodies throughout our County and region for approximately 40 years.  Byron Station’s presence in our community has not only helped provide opportunities for our Byron CUSD students that otherwise wouldn’t have existed; it has also provided resources for students who attend Oregon CUSD, Rock Valley Community College, and Kishwaukee Community College.  Over the past four decades, Byron Station has helped provide good paying jobs to thousands of citizens all throughout Northern Illinois.  Those citizens, in turn, have used those jobs to raise families and support their respective communities.   In a time when clean and reliable energy is at a premium, closing down Byron Station would be a tremendous mistake, as it provides clean, carbon-free energy to millions of Illinois citizens, around the clock, 365 days a year.  Please support Illinois nuclear energy.

John Bearrows, Mayor - City of Rochelle

Dear Honorable John Rickard:

The City of Rochelle stands with you in opposition to the proposed closing of the Byron Nuclear Power Plant. The Plant is critically important to Northern Illinois and we urge Exelon and lawmakers to reconsider any actions to close the generating station.

The Byron Nuclear Power Plant is home to hundreds of quality jobs and the loss of millions of dollars in property taxes that help fund schools, infrastructure, support for area non-profits and critical public services provided by local government, would be catastrophic. In an era when environmental concerns are high, the Byron Nuclear Plant generates a large amount of electricity without carbon emissions. When Exelon announced that they plan to close the Byron Plant next year, the repercussions were felt throughout the Region.

I am pleased that a coalition is forming of elected officials, community leaders, business owners and citizens to build support for saving the Plant. The City of Rochelle stands with you to find a solution that will keep the Byron Nuclear Plant open and operating for years to come.

Andrew Chesney, Illinois State Representative - District 89

State Representative Andrew Chesney issued the following statement about the announcement by Exelon on August 27 about its proposed closure of its Byron Nuclear Generating Station:

“The Byron Nuclear Generating Plant is important to our region, important to our property tax base and critical for the high-paying jobs it provides for Northwest Illinois.”

“It is a terrible shame that the criminal misconduct of ComEd in its corrupt partnership with House Speaker Mike Madigan has jeopardized this important asset for our region and our state.  I support a transparent process of a negotiated “all of the above” energy policy for Illinois.  I will go to bat for saving these skilled jobs for our region, but not if it means compromising my core principles to the corruption and self-dealing that have maligned past energy policy decisions.  We owe our property taxpayers, area ratepayers, and our region’s highly-skilled, mostly union, workers at this facility not only our best efforts, but honest practices.”

Chief Phil DeMik, Byron Fire Department

In 1985 when the Byron Nuclear Power Station went online, the Byron Fire
Protection District quickly forged a relationship with its new neighbor. Over the years, we have worked closely with Exelon and its employees to provide fire,
emergency medical, and technical rescue services to protect their greatest
asset…their people!

Many of Exelon’s employees live in Byron. They have made homes and found a
wonderful place to raise their families. Closing the plant would create a devastating
loss to the community. We ask that you continue to support Illinois nuclear energy
now and for many years to come!

Tom Demmer, Illinois State Representative - District 90

I am deeply disappointed with today’s announcement that Exelon intends to close the Byron Nuclear Plant in September 2021. The plant is home to hundreds of good-paying jobs and contributes millions of dollars in property taxes to fund schools, public safety, and local government. It also generates a significant amount of clean, reliable electricity without any carbon pollution. 

I will not take this decision as final. The Exelon statement itself said “we will continue our dialogue with policymakers on ways to prevent these closures”. I will work with the Governor’s office and my fellow legislators to ensure that Byron has a seat at the table and a voice in the discussions about Illinois’ energy policy.

The Byron Nuclear Plant has been a cornerstone of the Ogle County economy for decades. Families throughout the region count on these good jobs. We will not let this go without a fight!

Adam Kinzinger, U.S. Congressman - 16th District of Illinois

OTTAWA, IL – Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) released the following statement on the announcement to close two nuclear power plants in Illinois’ 16th Congressional District:

Today’s announcement to close both the Byron and Dresden power plants is a gut-punch to the people of Illinois, especially to the counties that surround these generating stations. Hundreds of people will now be out of jobs and our efforts to produce clean, affordable, safe nuclear energy will be crushed.

“As a nation, we cannot reach our climate goals without nuclear energy. In Congress, I’ve long fought for nuclear and am doing everything I can at the federal level to save our nuclear fleet. But we need state support.

“What did we get instead? Corruption and bribery by Speaker Mike Madigan and Illinois’ largest electric utility company, ComEd. They put millions of dollars into their own pockets by hiking up prices on Illinois taxpayers, and throwing our nuclear power plants into the crosshairs of their backroom deals. 

“The Byron and Dresden nuclear power plants are the latest casualties of the self-serving policies coming from Democrat-led Springfield, and it’s long-past time for a change. To start, I’m calling on Senator Durbin to work with me in Congress to take the Department of Justice fines on ComEd and re-appropriate them to the communities most affected by these plant closures.

“I’ll continue to fight for nuclear energy, for the vital operations of our remaining power plants, and for accountability in our government. Because integrity matters, and Illinois deserves much, much better than this.”

Zachary S. Oltmanns, Ogle County Board

The Byron Generating Station has been a constant and reliable partner in the Northern Illinois economy for decades. Not only does the generating station provide over 700 well-paying jobs, the station also provides clean and reliable energy to the region.

 The Byron Generating Station also provides a dependable and strong property tax revenue source for local governmental entities. These entities provide world class services such as fire protection and education that would be greatly diminished without the Byron Generating Station being open.

 Make no mistake this is not a partisan issue. The Byron Generating Station provides clean, reliable, and carbon free electricity. Please consider contacting your state legislature and tell them how important it is that the Byron Station stays open!

Emily M. Porter, Director - Byron Public Library District

The loss of the Byron Generation Station would devastate our community.  Without it, our community will suffer the loss of public services, a devastated real estate market, an increase in taxes, and a flooded job market. 

John Rickard, Mayor - City of Byron

On behalf of the citizens of Byron, IL. I want to urge the Senators and Representatives of our legislature to do all they can to help keep the Byron Generating Station open. Since 1985, the Byron Station has provided well-paying direct jobs, currently over 700, and indirect jobs in the thousands. The Byron Station provides a dependable and stable tax base of 38 million dollars that supports a quality of life we would not be able sustain without the station.

Since 1985, the city of Byron has been proud to lend its name to a nuclear power station that generates clean and dependable electrical energy that is fundamental to Illinois’ commitment to wean itself from dependence on fossil fuels. To let this generating station close compromises that commitment.

Should the Byron Generating Station close, the effect would be severe and widespread in economic terms and for the quality of life, not only for Byron, but for the entire region.  Again, I urge our legislature to do all they can to keep this essential Byron Generating Station open.

Jerry Smith, Mayor - City of DeKalb

The closure of this integral facility would have a serious impact on some of the momentum we have going for us in economic development for northern Illinois.  We need to see this Byron plant to remain open.

Brian Stewart, Illinois State Senator - 45th District

State Sen. Brian Stewart (R-Freeport, 45th District) issued the following statement about the announcement Aug. 27 by Exelon about its proposed closing of its Byron Nuclear Generating Station. 

“State leaders must never underestimate the value of the Byron Nuclear Generating Station to the residents of Byron and surrounding communities in Ogle and Winnebago counties. A fixture in the area since September 1985, this facility has been the source of economic pride and well-being for northern Illinois residents, as well as an important source of power for millions in homes and businesses across our region. 

We must make state leaders understand how integral the Byron Nuclear Generating Station is to our region’s economy, providing about 800 jobs at the facility. These are professional jobs with pretty specific sets of skills and if the Byron facility closes, many of the employees will need to move to other parts of the state or out of Illinois entirely. And we must consider the countless other businesses these employees support in their communities. There were also about 1,300 regional jobs in 2019 associated with refueling processes. 

The Byron facility also provides a strong, steady source of tax revenues – such as $38 million in property taxes annually – to help local governments pay for the services and programs they provide their residents.

Closing the Byron Nuclear Generating Station should never be subjected to partisan policy considerations, and we hope local and state leaders from all political parties and from throughout the state will take time to come tour this facility. We also need to hear from all stakeholders about the impact Exelon’s closure would have on our part of the state.”