The twin cooling towers of the Byron Generating Station. [Exelon]

On the last day of the Fall Veto Session in 2016, lawmakers approved a controversial mashup of policies all thrown together in a bill dubbed the Future Energy Jobs Act.

While much of the attention at the time was focused on what some called a “bailout” of two nuclear power plants that energy giant Exelon had threatened to close, the law also required Illinois to buy increasing amounts of wind and solar power, while investing in energy efficient technologies.

In setting these benchmarks and promising more clean-energy jobs, dozens of groups jumped on board to support the bill, including utilities, labor, business and environmental groups.

But last summer, a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told Illinois — and the dozens of other states that have moved to set benchmarks to buy more clean energy — that imposing those goals interferes with the “proper operation of wholesale electricity markets.”

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