Lawmakers have unveiled a bill to push the state toward using less electricity, and having more of the electricity that is used come from renewable sources. It’ll be good for the environment and good for employment, says Nick Magrisso of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
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“This bill puts Illinois on a course for a cleaner environment, and on course to create tens of thousands of new jobs all across the state. In fact, if this bill becomes law, the new standard called for by this legislation would lead to an impressive 32,000 new jobs annually in Illinois, once they are fully ramped up,” he said at a news conference at the Capitol.
The measure has three provisions;”
It would require a 20 percent reduction in electricity use by 2025, presumably through efficiency. The reduction would be from an average of the annual electricity use from 2012-2014. Current law calls for incremental reductions, starting in 2008, that amount to a 13 percent reduction by 2025.
It would require 35 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. The current law is 25 percent by 2025.
The measure also calls for a market-based strategy to reduce carbon pollution. That means cap-and-trade on coal.
Members of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition – lawmakers, labor unions, consumer groups and businesses that are in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industry – say renewable energy will be big, and Illinois must take steps to make sure it gets its share of the action.