Hoping to piggyback off the momentum of President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley and other elected officials gathered Wednesday in the Loop to promote a state bill that sponsors say will help Illinois meet its environmental goals.
The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill, introduced in Springfield last year, calls for improved energy efficiency and for 35 percent of state power to come from renewable energy by 2030. The bill, proponents claims, will bring the state into compliance with new federal regulations.
Obama’s Clean Power Plan, laid out Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency, calls on all states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from energy plants to levels 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
“By implementing policies like the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill and Clean Power Plan that promotes job creation, innovation and competition on the state and federal level, our clean energy sector can finally realize its potential,” said Quigley, D-Ill.
Illinois has until 2018 to come up with a final plan to reach the federal goals.
The Clean Jobs Bill is one of the several pieces of energy-related legislation before the state Legislature that would affect Illinois’ ultimate proposal.
Obama’s plan is expected to face legal and political challenges, but David Kolata, executive director of consumer watchdog Citizens Utility Board, views the Clean Power Plan as “an opportunity for Illinois consumers.”
“If Illinois does what it should, consumer bills should go down by at least $100 a year by the time the plan is implemented,” said Kolata, a promoter of the Clean Jobs Bill as a catalyst to meet federal limits.