Leaders from both sides of the aisle have pledged their support for a Clean Energy Bill in Illinois which will pave the way for 32,000 jobs annually. The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition has successfully united diverse interests from business, labor, faith, environmental, and consumer advocate communities – no small task – to advance new policies to make the state more competitive, create jobs, and reduce carbon pollution.
“This bill benefits people in every part of Illinois, in our biggest cities, in suburbs, in farming communities – anywhere where people would gain from new jobs, better health and a cleaner environment,” said Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park). He urged lawmakers act quickly to pass the bill – which strengthens energy efficiency, increases the share of power coming from wind and solar, and proposes a market-based approach to reducing carbon emissions – especially in light of the serious local impacts of climate change.
A strong competitive spirit has also played a key role in forward progress. Although wind power grew 8 percent nationwide in 2014, Illinois installed no new wind capacity last year, resulting in Oklahoma surpassing it as the country’s fourth-largest wind power producer (behind Texas, California, and Iowa). These market dynamics helped to encourage a compromise with energy industry heavyweight Exelon Corporation related to the stalemate over changes to the state's 2011 clean power law, which had proven to hold back the development of new wind projects.
For insights about how to effectively lead your own communities toward innovative climate solutions, check out ecoAmerica‘s Guide to Effective Communication on Climate and tips about how to put yourself in your collaborators’ shoes, connect on common values, and emphasize solutions and benefits.
Illinois is two-for-two on clean energy wins. Today, Illinois legislators introduced a bill to spur significant new growth in the clean energy industry, creating an estimated 32,000 jobs annually across Illinois once proposed clean energy standards are fully implemented. Already a leader in America’s clean energy economy, Illinois, with this bill, would help boost the 100,000 clean energy jobs that exist in the state, protect our children and future generations from the impacts of climate change, as well as maintain a reliable and affordable electricity system.
The bill, endorsed by the recently-formed Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, of which EDF is a member, contains three main components:
1. Strengthening Illinois’ energy efficiency policies
The bill would increase standards to reduce electricity use in Illinois by 20 percent by 2025, a 50 percent increase in savings compared to what would otherwise occur based on current trends. The bill also improves on-bill financing and real-time pricing programs to help more Illinoisans save money.
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