Statement from CUB Executive Director David Kolata on New Legislation: The Clean Energy Jobs Act
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Jim Chilsen
February 28, 2019 (o) 312-263-4282, (c) 312-513-1784
The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) stands with a coalition of 200 consumer advocates, green and environmental justice groups, clean energy businesses and community leaders to support the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA). CUB fights for consumers and that’s why we’re fighting for the Clean Energy Jobs Act.
The Clean Energy Jobs Act is the only legislation in Springfield focused on keeping a lid on energy costs for Illinois utility customers. For instance, it would defend against a threat by out-of-state fossil fuel power generators that want to slam most Illinois consumers with higher electricity bills. Because the declining price of clean energy has eaten into their profits, for years now those generators have been on a campaign to change the rules of the PJM capacity market, undermine Illinois’ successful energy reforms, and make most electric customers in Illinois pay more for power they don’t need. To answer that threat, the Clean Energy Jobs Act would put the Illinois Power Agency fully in charge of the state’s clean energy policy, creating the opportunity to save consumers money while greatly expanding renewable energy investment in the state.
The Clean Energy Jobs Act would boost gas and electric efficiency programs, reduce peak electricity demand, and take advantage of the falling cost of wind and solar power. Such improvements are always good for consumers, proving that Illinois can keep utility bills in check as it moves down the path to 100 percent clean energy.
These are not just feel-good measures. Strong state energy policy, like the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), has led to more jobs, billions of dollars in energy efficiency savings, and it’s a big reason Illinois now has some of the nation’s lowest power bills. We are optimistic that legislators will see how urgent it is to preserve the economic success of FEJA, and build off it. And we will work with anyone who wants to make Illinois a leader in the race for an affordable clean energy future.
The Clean Energy Jobs Act is Senate Bill 2132/House Bill 3624.
CUB, a member of the Clean Jobs Coalition, is celebrating its 35th anniversary as Illinois’ leading nonprofit utility watchdog. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, it has saved consumers more than $20 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds. For more information, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline, 1-800-669-5556, or visit its award-winning website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.