This article offers excellent insight into how policy (politics) influences energy and energy costs.
Government is the only entity that can impose priorities on energy. That is, without environmental laws, energy production would be governed by cost and perhaps by convenience.
So when the Government (state or federal) imposes or doesn’t impose a tax or subsidizes an energy utility, it’s important.
Illinois has a history of supporting coal with tax advantages which historically has provided jobs and low energy costs; however, both have declined and could decline further due to carbon emissions and nuclear power.
Illinois has halted its support of renewable energy (created from wind, solar or water) with tax advantages. When they have supported renewables, it has favored larger utility scale renewables over smaller installations.
This article shows how two large corporations are presenting their case for economic assistance from the State of Illinois. Which one do you think deserves assistance?
In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that Realgy has built and operates four solar photovoltaic power plants in Illinois. Realgy received State and Federal tax subsidiaries and would not have done so without them.
Read the full Renewablesbiz article, “Exelon, politics and Illinois’ low-carbon future”