While most of you have been dodging April showers, filing your tax returns and mustering hope that this year will be the year for the Chicago Cubs, Clean Power Lake County’s “climate avengers” have been helping lead the charge to pass the bipartisan Illinois Clean Jobs Bill in Springfield.
The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill (HB 2607/SB1485) will cut energy use through efficiency, increase use of renewable wind and solar energy, and create an estimated 32,000 jobs annually. The bill is supported by more than 41 co-sponsors in the Illinois House, 21 co-sponsors in the Illinois Senate and a coalition of more than 70 businesses and 30 organizations.
On April 22—Earth Day—nearly two dozen Clean Power Lake County coalition representatives rallied alongside more than 500 other Illinoisans at the state capitol to support the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill, clean energy and climate action. (Check our our Facebook photo album and watch WAND-TV video coverage of the rally.)
On April 8, two of the bill’s co-sponsors, State Representative Rita Mayfield and State Senator Julie Morrison, received rounds of applause during a Waukegan forum when they said the measure would lower consumers’ utility bills, bring clean energy investment to more communities, strengthen local tax bases, create thousands of family-sustaining jobs and reduce dangerous pollution from coal-fired power plants. The forum was sponsored by the Clean Power Lake County Campaign.
The Clean Jobs Bill improves upon the 2007 Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard in several ways:
- Increases the share of power coming from renewable sources to 35% by 2030
- Raises the state’s energy efficiency standard with 20% energy reductions by 2025
- Proposes a market-based strategy to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, which is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan
The bill also contains several provisions to help disadvantaged communities, such as bringing more solar installations and workforce development to low-income communities, and building solar arrays on contaminated lands often located in disadvantaged communities.
Equally important for residents of a cash-strapped state, “this legislation doesn’t cost the taxpayer anything,” Mayfield said during the Waukegan forum.
Ready to help? Please sign the official Illinois Sierra Club petition to ask your representatives to support the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill.