The Clean Energy Jobs Act
Supporting Fossil Fuel Workers and Communities
A Just Transition to a Clean Energy Economy
In Illinois and across the country, the transition away from coal power is underway. Out-of-state energy corporations have made risky investments in expensive and aging Illinois power plants and mines, and then often closed them with little warning or support for Illinois workers and communities. As we transition away from fossil fuels, we must develop a plan that helps impacted workers and communities adapt to the inevitable energy transition and forge resilient, economic futures. CEJA guides an orderly transition by putting workers and communities first.
Supporting Displaced Energy Workers
The Displaced Energy Workers Bill of Rights supports fossil fuel power plant, coal mine, and nuclear plant workers who lose their jobs due to reduced operations or closures.
Bill of Rights includes advanced notice of closure, financial advice, continued health care and retirement packages, and full tuition scholarships at Illinois state and community colleges and trade programs with up to $14 million in annual funding.
Offers tax credits to businesses that hire displaced energy workers.
Helping Impacted Communities
Designates communities that lose a fossil fuel power plant or coal mine as Clean Energy Empowerment Zones.
Provides local governments (municipal government, school boards, libraries, etc.) in Clean Energy Empowerment Zones with tax base replacement, for up to five years, to cover lost tax revenues due to the closure of a fossil fuel power plant or coal mine. Up to $100 million annually can be allocated to tax base replacement statewide.
Gives local leaders access to economic development staff at DCEO to help find new opportunities for their communities.
Provides investment incentives for clean energy companies to locate in Clean Energy Empowerment Zones.
How is it paid for?
The Energy Community Reinvestment Fund collects money through a small fee on fossil-fuel pollution and a 6% Coal Severance Fee on coal extraction. The fund supports the just transition in former fossil fuel communities, as well as the workforce programs in other parts of CEJA.
Why is it urgent?
In fall 2019, four communities in central and southern Illinois experienced a coal plant closure with little warning, and Illinois has no policies to support those communities and workers in their transition to a new economy. As we plan an orderly transition away from fossil fuels and look to rebuild our economy, Illinois should support coal plant and coal mine communities on the front line of that transition.