By Jerry Nowicki | Benton News
SPRINGFIELD — The state’s various energy industries all had their say at a pair of House committee hearings Tuesday in which three widely discussed energy bills advanced with their sponsors promising further negotiations.
By the end of the spring legislative session, all three bills — Democratic Elwood Rep. Larry Walsh’s capacity market reform and a pair of carbon-cutting, clean energy job-creating bills carried by Chicago Reps. Ann Williams (HB 3624) and Will Davis (HB 2966) — could all be part of an omnibus energy reform package.
Central to the discussion is the existing Future Energy Jobs Act, which expanded the state’s carbon-cutting efforts in 2016.
Williams and Davis want to increase private investment in that act, which they say will lead to further cutting of carbon emissions and creation of clean energy jobs through various methods. Walsh’s bill would put the authority for procuring clean energy capacity for northern Illinois in the hands of the state, rather than federal markets.