Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Friday that he plans to restart “working group” discussions with the goal of passing strong clean energy legislation, possibly in the Fall Veto Session.
As Crain’s Chicago Business reports, a working group—which includes consumer advocates, renewable power producers, environmental advocates, the utility industry and more—had deliberated beginning in July until it was suspended after ComEd agreed to pay a $200 million fine as part of an ethics scandal. Now, the working group will start meeting again.
*The governor wants to focus the discussions on eight principles for a clean energy economy. Read the governor’s document, called “Putting Consumers and Climate First, here.
The statement by the Clean Jobs Coalition, of which CUB is a member:
“The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition is pleased that Governor Pritzker has affirmed the urgency of passing bold climate legislation this fall that brings justice and investment to communities that have borne the worst of fossil fuel pollution. We look forward to working with the Governor on passing a bill that holds utilities accountable, ends automatic rate hikes, and creates thousands of clean energy jobs that help rebuild communities of color and leads a statewide economic recovery. We can do this together without raising electricity rates, hiking taxes, or giving Exelon or fossil fuels a bailout. Combating climate change can’t wait, building equity and economic recovery can’t wait, CEJA can’t wait.”
“CUB is pleased that Gov. Pritzker has restarted the working groups to pass strong equitable, clean energy legislation that answers the urgency of climate change while protecting consumers. The governor has made it clear that he supports consumer priorities, including holding utilities accountable, ending automatic rate hikes, emphasizing energy efficiency and promoting transportation electrification. We also are pleased that the governor supports removing the unnecessary and expensive infrastructure surcharge from natural gas utility bills. This is our best opportunity in decades to pass strong clean energy legislation without raising power bills, increasing taxes or giving Exelon or fossil fuel companies a bailout. We can’t afford to wait to become a national leader on climate and consumer protections. We look forward to discussing all the alternatives so Illinois can find the cheapest, fastest way to achieve 100 percent clean energy in the state.”