Illinois will be carbon-free by 2045 without the huge bailouts Exelon demanded
SPRINGFIELD – After more than three years of community organizing and leadership, today the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) announced its support for the nation’s most comprehensive and equitable climate and energy plan proposed by Governor Pritzker.
“After years of hard work and community collaboration, the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition is proud to support Governor Pritzker’s energy proposal, the only plan which takes a monumental leap forward on climate change and equity. ICJC welcomed the opportunity to work with the Governor, legislators, and community stakeholders to help bring this plan to fruition.
“The Governor’s proposal is a bold, equity-centered plan that shares the goals, vision, and values of the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA). This will put Illinois on a path to a 100% clean energy future with hard dates for phasing out coal and gas in the power sector while providing a just transition for workers and communities historically dependent on dirty fossil fuels, enacting some of the toughest utility accountability measures in the nation, and creating thousands of jobs and wealth in Illinois’ communities of color.
“This is an overdue victory for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities who are often the first to suffer the negative consequences of pollution but the last to reap the health and economic benefits of a clean energy future.
“The plan also saves 1,000 union jobs at nuclear plants without giving Exelon the huge bailout they demanded, a giant subsidy which would have cost ratepayers nearly $5 billion more over 10 years. And, it holds utilities like ComEd and Ameren accountable by ending formula rate increases that burden consumers and small businesses, and places an independent ethics monitor inside all utility headquarters to prevent another ComEd-type scandal.
“We would like to thank Governor Pritzker for his steadfast leadership and partnership to ensure that this comprehensive clean energy package prioritizes meaningful climate action and creating good equitable jobs. Simply put, a climate bill must protect the climate, and not the Prairie State coal plant, the largest polluter in the state and 7th largest polluter in the country.
“Together, we can establish our state as a national leader on clean energy and create a healthy and prosperous future for all Illinois families, without raising taxes or giving huge bailouts to Exelon or fossil fuel companies.
“We look forward to continuing our collaborative work on this urgent opportunity.”
In a June 10th memo, Governor Pritzker wrote that “the Governor’s Office worked with the Clean Jobs Coalition and other stakeholders to revise the May 31 energy draft to include key missing pieces – like decarbonization… ”
Like CEJA, the Governor’s proposal includes the most significant investment in clean energy Illinois has ever seen including more than $80 million for job creation in Black and Brown communities and far exceeding what is set aside to save good-paying union jobs at nuclear plants.
The proposal would also create new bill assistance programs for low-income families who have endured automatic, rubber-stamped rate hikes for too long, keeping Illinois electric bills among the lowest in the Midwest and the most equitable.
The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition is made up of more than 200 consumer, business, environmental, environmental justice, health care, faith-based and student organizations.