Dear Editor:

I have lived in the 71st Legislative District my entire life. I also had the good fortune of a nearly 35 year career working at the Quad Cities Nuclear Generating Power Station, which gave me great appreciation for the reliability, cost efficiency and job creation that nuclear power provides. It’s even more evident traveling around Illinois: while the wind often sits idle, I know that our communities in Illinois have consistent power.

Rep. Tony McCombie’s support of nuclear power plants in Illinois can’t be understated — they are responsible for property taxes (which funds schools and services), job creation and for producing 80% of all of Illinois’ carbon-free electricity. While a typical wind turbine only produces electricity 35% of the time, a power station that is online nearly 24/7 and 365 days a year has a capacity factor of 95%.

Renewable plants are considered intermittent or variable sources and are mostly limited by a lack of fuel (i.e. wind, sun, or water), which can’t be compared to the reliability of nuclear power especially after you include the amount taxpayers will continue to pay as subsidies.

An estimated $40 billion in taxpayer dollars will pay for wind/solar subsidies from 2018-27. This makes it the most expensive energy subsidy under current tax law.

Tony’s support for our community’s essential power needs also extends to the local jobs the nuclear power station provides, typically around 750-800 with an additional 2,500 during refuel outages every Spring.

I know come November, I will be backing Tony McCombie.

Ed Pannell

Fulton (formerly of Thomson)