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CUB: Clean Energy Jobs Act would “protect our pocketbooks and the planet”

Saying Illinois urgently needs the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) “to protect our pocketbooks and the planet,” CUB Executive Director David Kolata testified before a Chicago City Council committee today in support of a resolution endorsing the legislation now before the General Assembly in Springfield.  

CUB Director David Kolata testifies before Chicago City Council's Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy

CUB Executive Director David Kolata testifies before Chicago City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy

The Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy unanimously passed the resolution (R2019-747) after hearing testimony from Kolata and other representatives of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, a group working to advance clean energy jobs and lower energy bills.

That sets the stage for a vote of the full City Council, expected in mid-November.

In his testimony, Kolata said CEJA “increases energy efficiency in the state and in the city, which is our cheapest and cleanest resource. Nothing is better for consumers than investing in energy efficiency.”

Energy efficiency is just one part of the bill. Specifically, CEJA has four goals for Illinois:

  1. A carbon-free power sector by 2030.
  2. 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.
  3. Electrification of the transportation sector.
  4. An equitable clean energy economy that allows all citizens to benefit.

CUB has spent the last year educating consumers about another important part of CEJA: It would implement electricity market reforms to fend off an impending ruling by federal regulators and protect northern Illinois customers from up to $864 million a year in higher power bills. 

Today, CUB and other consumer and environmental advocates, including the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC), Faith in Place and Elevate Energy, testified that the Illinois General Assembly must act swiftly on CEJA. Pointing to the upcoming ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Kolata said the legislation needs to be passed urgently to “protect our pocketbooks and the planet. We have to act now, or Illinois consumers will be forced to pay more for dirty power we don’t need.”

According to Colleen Smith, legislative director for the Illinois Environmental Council, CEJA has 56 sponsors in the state house, and 31 in the senate. Tell your state legislator to support the Clean Energy Jobs Act today by clicking here.