Today, State Senator Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) joined his colleagues to take action on the future of Illinois’ energy production and began laying out the framework for the state to move forward with clean and safe energy and good-paying jobs for future generations.
“This legislation will help us invest in the future of our state,” Martwick said. “Creating tens of thousands of jobs through clean energy programs will ensure that we are on the right path in the fight against climate change.”
SB 18 would make Illinois a national leader in reducing carbon emissions through renewable, reliable and affordable energy suppliers, as well as training programs for thousands of well-paying jobs. Creating programs to set Illinois on an aggressive path to fully renewable energy generation by 2050, these investments in renewable energy are the largest in the history of Illinois.
Under the plan, Illinois would be investing in large solar construction across the state to help provide renewable energy to residents. The state would also be investing in nuclear power plants and ensuring that Illinois will not choose to import energy from carbon-polluting plants.
“Our focus is to position Illinois as the leader of the renewable energy future,” Martwick said. “Securing thousands of jobs for the people of Illinois means more economic stability for residents who will find security in the clean-energy sector.”
The legislation would create a number of statewide programs to help train these new workers for the clean-energy sector and green energy jobs with a focus on minority and lower-income communities.
The Path to 100 Coalition issued the following statement in support of the bill:
We thank the Illinois Senate for passing SB18, the strongest clean energy, pro-climate legislation in the country. The renewable energy provisions in this legislation would reverse the job losses happening now, and they would make the state the national leader in growing equitable clean energy jobs and fighting climate change. SB18’s bipartisan support reflects the widespread support for strong clean energy policy in Illinois.
We urge Governor Pritzker and Speaker Welch to act quickly to resolve any outstanding issues while preserving the critical renewable energy policies that all parties agreed to after years of negotiations.
Until this legislation becomes law the Illinois renewable energy program will remain broken. Our industry is losing jobs daily and our state is falling further behind other midwestern states in developing the clean energy sector. Rooftop solar installations in Illinois have fallen by more than 90% since last year, and more than 6,000 solar projects remain waitlisted and will not be built without the policies in SB18. For the thousands of families supported by renewable energy jobs in Illinois, the urgency remains very real.
Speaker Welch and the Illinois House have an opportunity to deliver an energy bill that will make Illinois a model for a just transition to a clean energy economy. But to seize this opportunity, the House must act soon.
The bill now moves to the House.