Pritzker Torpedoes Ameren’s Infrastructure Plans, Where’s the Progress?

The bill in question here would give Ameren Illinois the right to be the first to build high-voltage power lines. Basically, it’s like saying to Ameren, “Hey, why don’t you go ahead and build these power lines if you feel like it?” This would eliminate the competitive bidding process where other companies have a chance to build the power lines too. Ameren argues that the competitive bidding process just causes delays and makes things more expensive. And who wants delays and expenses? Not me!

But hold on just a minute, because Gov. J.B. Pritzker might veto this bill. He thinks competition is important to keep costs down for customers and create a competitive environment. And you know what? He’s not wrong. It’s like when you have a lemonade stand and you want to sell the most lemonade. You want other kids to set up their stands too, so it’s a fair competition. That way, you have to make the best lemonade and have the best prices to win. It’s good for customers because they have options and can choose the best deal. So, I kind of get where the governor is coming from.

The person who sponsored this bill is state Rep. Larry Walsh Jr., a Democrat from Elwood. He says it’s important to keep transmission line projects in house, so the job goes to someone we know and trust. But here’s the thing, Larry, when you limit competition, you limit choices. And that’s not how the free market works. We want the best and most efficient companies to build these power lines, not just the ones we know. Plus, having multiple companies bidding on the project can drive down costs and save us all some money.

I don’t know about you, but I hope Gov. Pritzker does veto this bill. We need competition to keep things fair and affordable. And if the state legislature tries to override the veto, they better think twice. We need politicians who listen to the people and not just big companies. Let’s keep the power in the hands of the people, not the monopoly.

Written by Staff Reports

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