Nation's biggest nuclear firm makes a play for green money

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

A big player in the troubled nuclear power industry is trying to change the rules of the energy game.

Exelon Corp. says Illinois lawmakers must revamp the power market or potentially see three of that state's nuclear plants close. The Chicago-based company operates the largest fleet of nuclear plants in the country.

Exelon aggressively invested in nuclear energy when natural gas was expensive and the economy was humming along, keeping electricity prices high.

But a glut of cheap gas has cut down on the profits once made by nuclear plants. Exelon officials say renewable energy subsidies also create a tilted market.

Company officials want Illinois to create a system that would pay nuclear plants extra for producing carbon-free energy.

Critics call the legislation a bailout for a profitable company.