Energy Exchange

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 Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Illinois / 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 Clean Energy, Electricity Pricing, Illinois / 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 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