Energy Exchange

Illinois’ Clean Energy Jobs Act puts people and climate first

Last week was a big one for Illinois energy advocacy. Hundreds of activists from around the state descended on the Capitol to rally and knock on legislators’ doors to persuade them to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act now. Then, the Illinois House and Senate each held hearings where EDF and our partners in the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition spoke with legislators to share a similar message: Momentum for clean energy legislation is picking up and CEJA is the only comprehensive piece of legislation on the table that protects both the environment and consumers’ pocketbooks.

In 2016, Illinois took bold action through the Future Energy Jobs Act, embracing of wind, solar and energy efficiency. By enacting this law, Illinois put itself on the front lines of the clean energy revolution.

However, transforming the energy sector is an ever-evolving, momentous task. It cannot be addressed in one fell swoop.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Illinois / Comments are closed

Decision by federal regulators underscores urgency of passing Illinois’ Clean Energy Jobs Act

On several occasions, we have argued that Illinois leaders should act swiftly to adopt the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Now, we see renewed evidence that the legislation needs to be adopted quickly to defend Illinois customers from skyrocketing electricity prices and protect the environment from dangerous pollution. Indeed, the clock is ticking if Illinois leaders want to prevent such an outcome.

After more than a year awaiting a decision, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today issued an order that pertains to PJM Interconnection’s capacity market. This market was created to ensure there is enough power reserves in the region spanning portions of Illinois, 12 other states and the District of Columbia to maintain reliability during extreme weather or other unplanned events.

Illinoisans may not realize it, but in addition paying for the energy they use, they also pay for power to be on standby for extreme events, like a polar vortex or heat wave. But they’re about to pay a lot more under this new ruling from FERC — both in electricity bills and environmental health costs.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Illinois / Comments are closed

Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act will improve the state’s economic climate

The Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act is one of the most ambitious climate bills in the country, but it is also a jobs and economic improvement bill. Most legislation gets mired down in talk of price tags, but with CEJA the better question is — how much will the Illinois economy benefit from its passage?

A recent study developed by The Accelerate Group measured the economic impact of CEJA and found the answer — it’s tens of billions of dollars. The new economic impact report released by the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition shines a light on just how much CEJA would contribute to the state’s economy. Here’s the bottom line: the legislation, if enacted, would result in $39 billion in new private investment in Illinois through 2030.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Illinois / Comments are closed

Illinois must take immediate action on the Clean Energy Jobs Act

The Clean Energy Jobs Act is one of Illinois’ biggest opportunities to become a national clean energy leader, but with the fall veto session just four weeks away, its future could be in jeopardy if legislators don’t understand what’s at stake.

The economic, environmental and health benefits of CEJA are innumerable: workforce hubs for clean energy job training; tremendous investments in renewable energy (including in low-income and environmental justice communities); expanded energy efficiency programs; and transportation electrification — to name a few.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Illinois / Comments are closed

Despite federal rollbacks, Illinois can write its own climate, clean energy future

State leaders, including many in Illinois, are embracing action to promote clean energy and address climate change despite the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back common sense limits on pollution.

In Illinois we have an opportunity to act as a bulwark against wrong-headed policies promulgated in Washington. Indeed, state leaders are currently considering legislation that would make Illinois a clean energy leader, with benefits that communities across the state would share.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Illinois / Comments are closed

Illinois’ Clean Energy Jobs Act taps power of energy efficiency

By Christie Hicks and Andrew Barbeau

This post is the fourth in our CEJA series.

The rollout of Illinois’ Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) has focused attention on the bill’s four main pillars: a 100% renewable energy target by 2050, the decarbonization of the state’s power sector by 2030, the electrification of the transportation sector and a focus on equity and economic justice.

But there’s a hidden gem of an opportunity in the bill that is just as promising as solar panels and electric cars: energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency programs and technology are among the most cost-effective routes to lower climate emissions and energy bills. And just like solar, wind and other clean energy tools, it’s a job creator. CEJA recognizes and capitalizes on that potential.

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Also posted in Energy Efficiency, Ohio / Comments are closed