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Chicago City Council supports CEJA, “puts us on the right path” to a clean energy future

In a boost to the fight for clean, affordable energy, the Chicago City Council unanimously passed a resolution today supporting the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA). 

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot overlooking city council on Nov. 13. Council unanimously voted to pass a resolution supporting the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

CEJA puts Illinois “on the right path” to a clean energy future, said Ald. George Cardenas, as he introduced the resolution. Cardenas is chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy, which first took up the resolution in October.

The legislation, currently awaiting a vote in Springfield, would expand energy efficiency programs throughout the state and spark an estimated $700 million a year in energy savings. And it would fend off proposed changes to the electricity market that would slam most customers in the state with nearly $1 billion in higher bills.  

CEJA (HB 3624/SB 2132) 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.

Now, it’s up to our state legislators and Gov. J.B. Pritzker to pass CEJA, and time is of the essence.

“One of the most important reasons Illinois urgently needs to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act is that this legislation will protect our power bills,” CUB executive director David Kolata said in a statement praising the City Council’s vote. 

Without CEJA, electric bills for most Illinois consumers could go up $864 million annually. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is expected to soon approve new electricity market rules that will raise electric bills to prop up dirty fossil-fuel power plants. However, reforms included in CEJA would protect consumers from FERC’s impending decision.

“We have to act now, or Illinois consumers will be forced to pay more for dirty power we don’t need,” Kolata said.

Earlier this year on Oct. 21, Cardenas’ committee unanimously passed the resolution (R2019-747) after hearing testimony from Kolata and other representatives of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition. The coalition includes 200 organizations, businesses and community leaders working to advance clean energy jobs and lower energy bills.

In his testimony, Kolata said CEJA would increase our cheapest and cleanest resource: energy efficiency. “Nothing is better for consumers than investing in energy efficiency,” he said. 

Tell your state legislators and Gov. Pritzker to vote for a cleaner, more equitable energy future for Illinois. Support the Clean Energy Jobs Act today by clicking here.

To read a full copy of the resolution, click here.