ComEd’s Legislative Support Evaporates

Lawmakers demand accountability from utility.

Dissatisfaction with answers from  at a hearing of the Illinois House Public Utilities Committee on Tuesday in Highland Park is causing members of the General Assembly to rethink their support for legislation favored by ComEd. 

, arranged the meeting in the northern suburbs after more than 1.2 million customers were left without power in the aftermath of storms June 21 and July 11. 

Twelve members or substitute members of the committee heard President and Chief Operating Officer Ann Pramaggiore tell a gathering of more than 200 people at the Highland Park Country Club that the company is prepared to make changes.

Pramaggiore also said smart-grid legislation passed by the legislature and now under a veto threat by  would go a long way toward solving many of the problems that kept people without power for days this summer. 

“It would have reduced outages 15 to 20 percent” after the July 11 storm, Pramaggiore said. “It would have relieved pressure on the restoration process.” 

Committee members who both supported and opposed the legislation want it strengthened before it becomes law. May voted in favor of the bill but now wants Quinn to either veto it or return it to the Legislature.

“We need stronger performance metrics to hold accountable,” May said. “The bill also needs overall transparency to the improvement of the infrastructure. The citizens deserve that.”

Of the people sitting on the committee, May and state Rep. Robyn Gable, D-Evanston, voted for the bill while state Reps. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, and Sid Mathias, R-Buffalo Grove, opposed it. All want changes to force better performance.

Stay tuned for more coverage of Tuesday's hearing, including more photos and video highlights.


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