Code red for humanity: What some local politicians are doing to tackle climate change

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The United Nations climate change report, which came in early August, indicated there is a “code red” for humanity.

Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), who has been in office since 2006, said taking on climate change is an important step in the right direction.

“It’s a big threat and it threatens our economy as much as it does just our health and our lives,” said Koehler, “So, I think we’re trying to take a lead in the state in terms of being serious about decarbonizing our atmosphere so that we have a place to leave to our grandchildren.”

Rep. Dan Brady (R-Normal), who was elected in 2001, agrees from a national standpoint.

“From a federal level, not really state, I think the action with the U.N. report needs to be taken,” Brady said.

Koehler said he is hoping to pass Senate Bill 18, an energy bill, this week.

“This bill contains trying to make sure that we save our nuclear fleet. It also incentivizes more alternative energy, mainly solar and wind, and it looks at a timetable for taking pollutants out of the process of making electricity,” said Koehler.

Brady discussed concerns he had with two agencies he thinks will be affected by the bill: City Water, Light & Power, and Prairie State Energy Campus.

“I’m also concerned about what it will do to places like Prairie State Energy Campus, CWLP, the companies that are being talked about having emissions of carbon, of closure in 2025. Investments are made by many of these municipalities. I’m concerned about those particular issues as they are addressed in the bill. What is the rate going to be, the rate increase in particular, for those who I represent in particular across Central Illinois?” Brady asked.

Two bills regarding climate change will be addressed on Sept. 9.

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