Bill takes steps for Illinois to remain regional leader in clean energy job growth through bold renewable energy policies, funding for workforce training and equity but falls short on climate action
SPRINGFIELD — Last night the Illinois Senate passed comprehensive energy legislation that would make Illinois the first state in the Midwest to commit to 100 percent carbon-free power by 2045. However, the bill lacks a crucial piece in fighting the climate crisis, declining emission caps for the state’s biggest polluter.
Following is a statement from Micaela Preskill, Midwest Advocate for the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs):
“Clean energy can and should be at the center of our plans to build back a stronger, cleaner, more resilient economy. In 2016 the Future Energy Jobs Act brought initial growth and economic development. Passing comprehensive energy legislation in Illinois soon will help ensure that growth continues.
“By investing once again in the clean energy industry, lawmakers are giving a critical boost to a sector that was putting Illinoisans to work five times as fast as statewide employment before the pandemic — setting the state and workers up for a stronger, shorter recovery.
“However, bold climate action is necessary to create a strong and resilient economy in our state. We urge House leadership to amend the bill to include declining emissions from coal for final passage as soon as possible.”
- E2 Report | Clean Jobs Midwest 2021: More than 115,000 Illinoisans worked in clean energy and clean vehicles at the end of 2020, down 10,230 from the start of the year. Despite the decline, clean energy jobs rebounded in 2020 after the initial unemployment crisis, recovering 40% of the job losses by the end of the year. Clean energy employed workers in all 102 counties in Illinois. Clean energy employed workers in all 18 congressional districts in Illinois.
- E2 Report | Clean Jobs, Better Jobs: Nationally, clean energy job wages are about 25 percent better than national median hourly wage. In Illinois, the median wage for clean energy workers in 2019 was $22.46 per hour, about 13 percent higher than the median wage for all Illinois jobs.
- E2 Report | Clean Jobs America 2021