AARP Calls Out ComEd's 'Shell Game', Calls Senate President to Say No to SB9

Feb 12, 2013, 15:07 ET from AARP Illinois

Legislation Just a Tactic to Strengthen ComEd's Grip on Commerce Commission

Statement from AARP Illinois State Director Bob Gallo

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "ComEd is at it again – pushing legislation designed to strengthen its grip on the Illinois Commerce Commission, deny consumers the money they are owed, and increase their profits.

ComEd is urging legislators to vote Yes on Senate Bill 9, a follow-up to their so-called Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act. Like the original bill in 2011, SB9 is not about infrastructure, is not about modernizations, and has very little to do with actual energy. Even worse, SB9 does not even have language in it. It is what they call in Springfield a 'shell bill'. We call it a shell game, designed to trick legislators and consumers by hiding the real language until it's time to vote for it.

ComEd's real game is to reverse the Commerce Commission's ordered $133 million rate cut. What ComEd does not want consumers to know is that the ICC order was based on the law – the very same law ComEd pushed through the General Assembly in 2011.

ComEd is worried about their bottom line – and that of their parent company, Exelon. Exelon is suffering from low natural gas prices, a merger that is not working out as planned, an $870 million tax liability from the IRS, and accusations of lying to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. As a result Exelon is cutting their own annual dividend by 40% to look profitable. SB9 is simply an attempt by ComEd to pass these troubles along to already burdened consumers. This is what ComEd's shell game is really about – and the name of the game is money.

AARP is calling on Senate President John Cullerton to kill SB9 before language is even attached to it. We are urging our members, and the public, to call our toll-free utilities hotline, 800-719-3020 and urge their Senators to oppose the bill."