Historic Climate Legislation Passed by Illinois Senate

Senate Bill 2408, also known as the Illinois energy bill, heads to Gov. JB Pritzker’s desk after being approved by the Senate in a vote of 37-17. The bill eliminates carbon emissions and ensures electricity in Illinois will come from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

Gov. Pritzker campaigned on a green energy platform during his initial run for governor. In a statement, he said, “With the Senate passage of SB 2408, the State of Illinois is making history by setting aggressive standards for a 100 percent clean energy future. After years of debate and discussion, science has prevailed, and we are charting a new future that works to mitigate the impacts of climate change here in Illinois.

“SB 2408 puts the state on a path toward 100% clean energy and invests in training a diverse workforce for the jobs of the future. Illinois will become the best state in the nation to manufacture and drive an electric vehicle, and equity will be prioritized in every new program created. SB 2408 puts consumers and climate at the forefront, prioritizing meaningful ethics and transparency reforms, and institutes key ratepayer and residential customer protections.”

Illinois AARP estimates that electricity bills would increase up to $15 a month for residential consumers. SB 2408 also addresses helping those most affected by climate change. Lt. Gov. Julianna Stratton said, “Recently, we have seen the devastating effects of rising temperatures through wildfires, hurricanes, and droughts. Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities bear the brunt of this global emergency. This law ensures they will have a voice in our efforts to slow climate change through expanded job opportunities and entrepreneurial inclusion in the clean energy sector.

The Illinois House Democratic Women’s Caucus Chair, Rep. Camille Lilly echoed Lt. Gov. Stratton’s comments saying, “Through passing this comprehensive and collaborative energy bill, Illinois has become a national model on how to address the critical issue of climate change while also protecting and creating thousands of good-paying jobs and ensuring our black and brown communities are prioritized,” We need to embrace bold measures that are based in science and uplift all of us.” SB 2408 is an essential tool in our fight for justice, equity, and opportunity in what should be a much healthier, greener future. ”

The bill specifies that coal and gas plants be carbon-free by 2045, offers rebates up to $4000 for those who purchase electric cars, and authorized aid for Exelon to keep its nuclear plants open. Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch said in a statement, “With the Senate’s passage of this comprehensive energy proposal, the Illinois legislature has positioned our state as a national leader for clean energy policies,” said House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch. “I was elected to lead the House chamber eight months ago today, and I’m so proud to see all of the hard work we’ve put into this bill finally come to fruition. I look forward to seeing Governor JB Pritzker sign it into law so we can put Illinois on the path to a greener future while also prioritizing jobs, a diversified energy sector, and much-needed utility ethics reforms. ”

Gov. Pritzker plans to sign SB 2408, saying, “I look forward to signing this historic measure into law as soon as possible because our planet and the people of Illinois ought not to wait any longer.”

Danielle Sanders is a journalist and writer living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSanders20 and @DanieSandersOfficial.

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