5/26/15 – Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition Now 100+ Businesses Strong

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact:
May 26, 2015

David Jakubiak, ELPC
312-795-3713
DJakubiak@elpc.org

Emily Rosenwasser, Sierra Club,
312-251-1680 x119
emily.rosenwasser@sierraclub.org

Josh Mogerman, NRDC
312-651 7909
jmogerman@nrdc.org

Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition Now 100+ Businesses Strong
Businesses from Across Illinois Join Together and Urge General Assembly to Pass Clean Jobs Bill
(HB 2607/SB 1485) before End of Session

CHICAGO (May 26, 2015)–The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition announced today more than 100 Illinois businesses have formally joined the coalition in support of the Clean Jobs House Bill 2607 and Senate Bill 1485. New Prairie Construction, headquartered in Urbana, became the 100th business to join the
coalition this week.

“New Prairie Construction Company joined the Illinois Clean Jobs coalition because we are committed to environmental stewardship, as well as increased support for green jobs in our communities,” said Matthew Carter, a carpenter with New Prairie, “This bill is important in ensuring that we, as a state, stay on track with our renewable energy goals, and continue our progress toward efficient, clean energy standards and strong job creation in the future.”

More than 150 businesses, associations, policy organizations and faith-based organizations are members of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition. The coalition is working to secure a clean energy and clean tech future for the state of Illinois through passage of a critical piece of legislation that will generate tens of thousands of new jobs, save consumers money, and protect the environment.

The Illinois Clean Jobs bill will create thousands of new clean jobs every year, as much as 32,000 new jobs per year when fully implemented. In addition, the bill would mean substantial savings for Illinois energy customers. According to the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), passage of the bill would result in cumulative savings of $1.6 billion by 2030, translating into an average savings of $98 per year for the typical residential customer.

“Solar energy is here today and ready to transform the way that people power their homes and businesses,” said Shannon Fulton, Director of Business Development at Straight Up Solar, a solar energy company with offices in Swansea and Bloomington Illinois. “We have a real opportunity in Illinois to be a national leader in solar energy but we need the right policies in place to be able to do that. The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill will allow for companies like ours to continue investing in Illinois to grow, add jobs, and save consumers money.”

The “century mark” milestone underscores the fact that new measures to increase clean energy in Illinois would be a boon to businesses across the state and help them add to their revenues and payrolls. Many of these firms have played an active role in urging lawmakers to pass the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill (SB1485/HB2607), legislation pending in Springfield that would boost the share of energy coming from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, to 35% by 2030 and reduce overall electricity demand to 20% by 2025.

“Illinois is home to a robust and growing clean energy sector and the state is being considered for investment by national companies looking to add jobs here,” said Amy Francetic, CEO of Clean Energy Trust, with offices in Chicago. “Passing the Clean Jobs bill this session would be an enormous boost to the clean energy community and would send a signal that Illinois is open for business. The state is at an energy crossroads and lawmakers need to understand that passing this bill is in the best interests of businesses, consumers, and our quality of life. We need to put to rest the idea that the environment and the economy are competing interests. We’re showing that they can be complementary. A recent study performed by BW Research Partnership, a national leader in workforce and economic development research that surveyed businesses throughout the state concluded that Illinois is currently home to over 100,000 clean energy workers — a 7.8 percent increase from the year prior. However, the survey also concluded that the increase is down from a forecasted 9 percent due to policy uncertainty and a broken regulatory environment. The Clean Jobs Bill resolves this uncertainty and sets Illinois back on track.

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About Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition
The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition is a partnership of diverse businesses, associations, and other advocates who share a strong commitment to creating a clean energy future for the state of Illinois that will create thousands of new jobs for the state, produce savings for energy consumers, and protect Illinois’ quality of life. To view a list of coalition members, and learn more about the bill, please visit ilcleanjobs.org.