Energy Exchange

Illinois lays out blueprint for next generation climate legislation

Immediately after the Future Energy Jobs Act was passed in 2016, EDF and our tremendous partners in the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition started work again. Building on that momentum and with many new and diverse partners, the Coalition held over 100 listening sessions with communities about their top priorities for Illinois. During those listening sessions, in every corner of the state, shared priorities emerged and became the pillars of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act.

The core tenants of CEJA were built from the bottom-up, and after years of hard work, deep listening and authentic collaboration, the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, SB2408, was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker yesterday.

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Also posted in CEJA, Clean Energy / Comments are closed

Illinois can step up as environmental leader in truck and bus electrification

Yesterday, Illinois State Senator Celina Villanueva and House Representative Edgar Gonzalez, Jr. introduced a resolution to encourage Gov. Pritzker to sign on to a memorandum of understanding that would commit the state to a goal of transitioning all medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses to zero-emission models by 2050. Spearheaded largely by the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and the Illinois Environmental Council, the resolution will encourage a key step towards a clean transportation future.

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Also posted in Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed

A stronger CEJA will help combat dirty fuel and dirty money

We have written on many occasions about the need for the Clean Energy Jobs Act (HB3624/SB2132). This legislation — widely considered to be the boldest climate bill currently pending in any state — empowers communities and protects the environment and consumers’ pocketbooks.

The bill was worthy of passage the moment it was introduced in February 2019. Since then, it has become even more evident that the bill should be adopted, especially in the wake of COVID-19. CEJA would have an enormous impact on the job market at a time of high unemployment, and it will generate billions of dollars in state and local tax revenue at a time when these dollars are desperately needed.

With this much going for it, promoters of CEJA would have been easily justified in leaving the bill as is. This is especially true given that it enjoys overwhelming public support, with 82% of Illinoisans backing the bill in a recent poll.

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Also posted in CEJA, Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency / Comments are closed

Some of the biggest names in trucking are calling for federal support of electric trucks and buses

Momentum is building for federal support of truck electrification, and today’s launch of the National Zero-Emission Truck Coalition is a great example of how federal incentives are urgently needed to clean up our air, create tens of thousands of jobs and solidify American competitiveness in the global zero-emission truck market.

Organized by CALSTART, the ZET coalition is a group of America’s biggest truck equipment manufacturers, suppliers and key stakeholders, such as Cummins, Daimler, PACCAR, Eaton, Tesla, Rivian along with Environmental Defense Fund. This knowledgeable set of stakeholders is advocating for federal charging and refueling infrastructure and increased federal investments in advanced clean transportation technologies.

The group is also advocating for a national point-of-sale incentive program to help drive the near-term production of zero-emission trucks and buses in the United States — a policy that for the last decade has stood out for its effective support of clean vehicles at the state level. Also called a “voucher incentive program,” this incentive structure streamlines access to grants that directly support the purchases of clean trucks and buses, including battery electric and fuel cell vehicles.

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Also posted in Air Quality, California, Climate, Electric Vehicles, Jobs, New York / Comments are closed

Clean energy bill is key to reinvigorating Illinois’ post-COVID economy

When the Illinois General Assembly met last week, lawmakers addressed the COVID-19 crisis among other priorities. This is, above all, a public health crisis and a human tragedy. More than 100,000 people in the state have been infected with this virus, and heartbreakingly more than 4,000 Illinoisans have lost their lives to it. We salute all of those working to combat this insidious virus.

Of course, the crisis also extends to our economy. Unemployment numbers rival those of the Great Depression. Businesses are fighting to stay afloat. Households face tough choices to afford essentials like rent, utilities and groceries.

A plan to stimulate the economy is urgently needed. Yet, the approach we take will have lasting implications. State leaders need to act quickly — but with an eye toward the years and decades ahead.

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Also posted in CEJA, Clean Energy, Electricity Pricing / Comments are closed

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 CEJA, Clean Energy / Comments are closed