The "Illinois Power Agency" was created in the State of Illinois after our botched deregulation schemes foundered and subsequent energy auctions were deemed as failures. Here is a post I wrote summarizing the situation that this agency is facing, or you can look under all posts categorized as "electricity" for further (depressing) reading.
Our embattled governor recently named a new head of the Illinois Power Agency. Per this article from the Northwestern School of Journalism:
"Gov. Rod Blagojevich tapped Mark Pruitt, 39, an energy procurement specialist with the University of Illinois at Chicago's Energy Resource Center, to be the first executive director of the newly formed Illinois Power Agency. "
One thing about those journalism students, they get right to the point. That sentence above is the first sentence of the article, here is the second:
"But Pruitt declined an invitation Tuesday to explain exactly how the new agency will carry out its price-stabilization mandate."
An excellent question. How can the agency meet its mission of stabilizing prices WHEN THERE IS NO NEW GENERATION BEING BUILT? To their credit, the Illinois Power Agency and the State of Illinois are building a new coal plant called "Prairie State" in Southern Illinois, but this is a drop in the proverbial bucket and is far from the heavily populated areas of the state.
One item that they ought to consider doing is not allowing Exelon to "spin off" their nuclear reactors into a separate, publicly traded company, like Entergy is doing. The best chance for the State of Illinois to at least limit the damage of our botched deregulation process is to force super-profitable Exelon generation to remain "glued" to their money-losing brethren ComEd, the local distribution company. This way Exelon can't squeeze the golden goose too hard with high power rates because the distribution company will go belly up as a result. Of course I don't know how Mr. Pruitt's mandate or power would allow him to do this, but it is something he ought to consider, and fast, because if Exelon gets wise and follows Entergy it is all over but the shouting. Per Entergy's latest earnings release their nuclear spin off is on track for late 2008.
Even if he had a mandate, the poor state of Illinois' fiscal health and our broke-down government model will likely slow any substantial solutions from being implemented.
But good luck to this guy for trying and taking on the post! He will need all the luck he can get.