By Quinn Myers | WTTW
“Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Illinois lawmakers are signaling they could be ready to pass legislation that eventually moves the state to 100% renewable energy.
‘Our spring agenda must also address the pressing issue of adopting new clean energy legislation,’ Pritzker said in his State of the State address last week. ‘Urgent action is needed, but let me be clear: the old ways of negotiating energy legation are over. It’s time to support consumers and climate first. I am not going to sign an energy bill written by the utility companies.’
But what exactly could that legislation look like?
One proposal is called the Clean Energy Jobs Act, or CEJA. Supporters say it would not only have obvious environmental benefits, but also boost the state’s economy.
Besides moving Illinois to adopt 100% renewable energy by 2050, the bill would close coal and natural gas plants by 2030, and create or expand incentives to electrify much of the transportation system. It would also create initiatives for workers in the fossil fuel industry to transition to jobs in renewable energy like wind or solar energy.
‘[CEJA] is centered around renewable energy and support of renewables, but also our bill is centered around supporting consumers, jobs and equity,’ said Jennifer Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, which represents over 90 environmental organizations in the state.”