Illinois Governor JB Pritzker on Wednesday signed a far-reaching energy plan to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050, despite uncertainty over how much the legislation could cost residents.
Under the clean energy package, two nuclear power plants will avoid closures and carbon-emitting coal plants for the next quarter century. The Clean Energy Works Act also provides a $700 million subsidy to Exelon with the idea of protecting jobs and the vast amount of carbon-neutral energy already produced by factories.
In addition to the nuclear power subsidy, the legislation, backed by Tinley Park Democrat Senator Michael Hastings, includes provisions to shut down coal-burning plants in central and southwest Illinois, invest in renewable energy such as wind and solar, and offer $4,000. Discounts on electric vehicle purchases. Pritzker wants 1 million electric cars on the road by 2030.
“We cannot escape or hide from climate change – not to the north where the Border Waters burn; Not to the south, where Ida devoured lives and livelihoods in the blink of an eye,” Pritzker said in a statement. Thanks to the Climate and Fair Jobs Act, Illinois is taking action in the fight to stop and even reverse the damage done to our climate. As of today, Illinois is a force for good, for an environmental future we can be proud of. With economic growth and employment woven into its fabric, this new law is Illinois’ most important step in a generation towards a reliable, renewable, affordable and clean energy future in a generation.”
A number of Republicans questioned the rise in benefits rates under the plan, saying it could cost wage earners $15 or more per month.
“While clean energy is essential to our state, both now and in the future, we cannot ignore the immediate impact this law has on electricity prices,” Illinois Representative Dan Ugaste said earlier this month. said.
Advocates of the law say the average housing increase will be $3.50 a month.
Before the bill passed the Senate earlier this week, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce issued a statement Monday that the proposal was flawed, “which would significantly increase costs and question credibility.”
Prairie State Generating Co. in Marissa. Okawville Republican Representative Charles Meier, who represents the district, said there were multiple hidden costs.
The Springfield coal plant and a separate plant, City Water, Light & Power, must cut 45% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 and be permanently closed by 2045.
Meier previously said that Prairie State’s municipal and cooperative owners are taking steps to increase clean energy production to 12%, compared to 7% statewide. He said the solar grid needed to replace Prairie State’s generating capacity alone would consume 123,000 acres of “primary farmland.”
“We guess,” said Representative Keith Wheeler of Oswego earlier. “We put a big target on the board and if we don’t get it right we will buy fossil-based energy from neighboring countries,” he said.
The package sets ethical standards for public services, given criticism derided as a $700 million bailout for Exelon, in which its subsidiary, utility giant ComEd, admitted to being involved and collaborating with federal prosecutors in a ten-year bribe scheme in Springfield. An ongoing investigation that has incriminated former House Speaker Michael Madigan and has led to accusations against, among others, Madigan’s closest confidant and a former ComEd CEO.
Illinois Senator Mike Simmons of Chicago said he was happy Illinois was on the way to get rid of fossil fuels, but voted “current” because of increases in Exelon rates and surcharges from residents.
“…SB 2408 is raising interest rates to low-income and local businesses trying to survive a relentless pandemic,” he said in part. “I also have concerns about giving Exelon more money right now when public trust has been systematically abused by Commonwealth Edison in recent years.”