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Illinois House, Senate energy panels discuss Dynegy 'bailout' request

Opponents referred to a package of bills to benefit Texas-based energy company Dynegy Inc. as a "multimillion-dollar state of Illinois bailout" and urged Illinois lawmakers to act cautiously on the proposals. Meeting jointly Tuesday, the Senate and House energy committees took no votes on the bills drafted to benefit Dynegy, which operates eight coal-fired power plants in central and southern Illinois. The company has warned lawmakers that under downstate Illinois' current electricity-distribution system, it may have to close at least four of its power plants by 2021 and possibly sooner."These closures would cause the loss of almost 550 well-paying union jobs and threaten approximately 4,000 indirect jobs," Dynegy said in a statement.The appeal from Dynegy is similar to one advanced successfully last year by Exelon Corp., which got state help to continue the operation of two downstate nuclear plants, including one at Clinton.But some of the groups that supported Exelon's plan now oppose Dynegy's. In fact, nearly all of the testimony, including from the attorney general's office, consumer groups and others, was in opposition.

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The News Gazette