LS Power Applauds Illinois Governor Pritzker’s Landmark Veto of Energy Transmission ‘Right of First Refusal’ Legislation
Decision benefits consumers; halts monopolization of Illinois transmission projects
SPRINGFIELD, I.L. – August 16, 2023 – LS Power, a leading development, investment and operating company focused on the North American power and energy infrastructure sector, today announced its support for Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s landmark veto of Right of First Refusal (ROFR) legislation that would limit transmission competition and unnecessarily increase the cost of the clean energy transition.
“Governor Pritzker’s decision is the right one for consumers,” said Paul Segal, CEO of LS Power. “Allowing competition for ownership of new transmission projects is essential to advance the energy transition in a cost-effective manner.”
Governor Pritzker’s veto is the first such executive action in the nation to stop an anti-competitive energy transmission ROFR bill. In doing so, Governor Pritzker preserves a competitive backdrop for the development and ownership of additional energy transmission projects in Illinois. Research has shown that competition can reduce the cost of new transmission projects by 20% to 30%.1
Sharon K. Segner, Senior Vice President for Transmission Policy at LS Power, stated, “The protectionist ROFR provisions in HB 3445 stand in the way of more competitive, innovative and cost-effective energy transmission projects – hurting consumers in the process. There should not be monopolies written into state law for the clean energy transition.”
Illinois Joins Other States in Rebuffing ROFR Legislation
While today’s action is the first veto of ROFR legislation, Illinois joins other states in rejecting monopoly transmission ownership. ROFR legislation has been defeated in both Missouri (2023) and Wisconsin (2022), and in March 2023 the Iowa Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction on a similar Iowa ROFR provision.
Several other states, including Texas, have ongoing disputes on the subject of competitive bidding for energy transmission projects. The United States Supreme Court in March 2023 asked the U.S. Solicitor General to file a Merits Brief at the United States Supreme Court on the Texas issue. The brief is expected this Fall.