Bill aims to put Illinois on path to 100% renewable energy by 2050
By Alex Ortiz | The Herald-News
Even after a busy spring legislative session in the state capitol, activists in Will County are pushing for one more significant bill to pass — this time on environmental issues.
More than 200 environmental groups, health care professionals and various other organizations, who make up the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, have been advocating for legislation to put Illinois on the path to 100% renewable energy by 2050.
Their efforts have resulted in the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which has already garnered support in both the Illinois House of Representatives and the Senate, including from local legislators. Reps. John Connor and Larry Walsh Jr. and Sens. Michael Hastings, Pat McGuire and Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant have all signed on as co-sponsors of the bill in their respective chambers.
Advocates like J.C. Kibbey, a clean energy advocate with the Natural Resources Defense Council, argue the bill takes a strong and comprehensive approach to the issue of climate change and making the Illinois economy greener.
“I think it’s critical that we do something ambitious on climate,” Kibbey said.
To get the state to 100% renewable energy by 2050, the bill seeks to reduce the equivalent of 1 million gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles from the road, achieve a carbon-free power sector by 2030 and promote jobs and economic opportunities in clean energy industries.
Kibbey said the state could greatly benefit by building on the 123,000 clean energy jobs that are already in Illinois.