Illinois becomes leader in fighting climate crisis with passage of green energy bill

State News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he looks forward to signing a massive clean energy omnibus package passed by the Illinois Senate Monday afternoon.

Under Senate Bill 2408, one million electric vehicles would be on Illinois’ roads over the next nine years, and Illinois would move to 100% clean energy by 2050. It will close private, for-profit coal plants with an electrical capacity of over 25 megawatts by 2030 as well as municipal coal-fired power plants and gas-fired power plants by 2045.

“Today, 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,” Pritzker said in a press release.

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

State Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) said he is grateful for colleagues on both sides of the aisle who came together to make this possible.

“Months of collaboration have resulted in legislation that will protect good-paying, union jobs across the state, and create tens of thousands more in the clean energy sector,” he said in a press release.

As part of the package, Illinois nuclear power plants will receive a $700 million subsidy. More specifically, the plan gave Exelon $694 million to keep the Byron and Dresden plants operational.

Exelon said Monday that with the passage of the bill, it was preparing to refuel both plants.

“We commend the Governor, the General Assembly, our partners at IBEW Local 15, and the coalition of labor leaders and members who worked so hard to pass this roadmap for rebuilding our economy and addressing the climate crisis by investing in clean energy in a way that ensures that jobs and environmental benefits are shared equitably,” said Christopher Crane, president and CEO of Exelon.

In a press conference following the vote, State Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) clarified Exelon will be required to apply for any federal relief that is available.

Capitol Bureau Chief Mark Maxwell reported once Pritzker signs the bill, Exelon said it “…will move to immediately fill hundreds of vacant positions and resume capital projects required for long-term operation. The company also will alert the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and PJM of the decision to keep the plants operating”

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