SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois took a significant step toward a healthier future Thursday following passage of an energy plan supported by state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, that will shutter dirty fossil fuel power plants, strengthen consumer protections and diversify our energy economy.
“It’s been increasingly clear that we need to develop a sustainable energy infrastructure that stops dangerous polluters, creates new jobs and allows greater access for Black and Latino communities to benefit,” Harper said. “This energy package is the result of years of advocacy from community leaders, labor unions, environmental advocates and residents who understand the real threat climate change poses for us and our children.”
Harper voted in favor of Senate Bill 2408, a bipartisan compromise that improves utility oversight and accountability, preserves Illinois’ nuclear plant capacity, and lays out a responsible transition plan away from heavy-polluting coal and oil power plants over the next 25 years. Recognizing that workers and communities will be impacted around the state, the measure emphasizes significant investments in workforce development, job training and economic support.
A new energy and justice fund to support targeted clean energy investments for minority small businesses would be created under the proposal, in addition to the establishment of a statewide program that would work with community-based organizations to ensure equity-focused populations are able to access energy-related jobs.
Low-income utility users will also benefit through the elimination of deposit requirements and fees for online bill payments, while a new $4,000 rebate would encourage residents to purchase electric vehicles that pollute less.
“This package lays out a bold plan to make Illinois a leader in addressing climate change, but a lot of work remains to ensure that we follow through and working families in our community benefit,” Harper said. “Reducing pollution benefits all of us, and we need to take advantage of the strong economic benefits this transition to a more green economy will bring.”
Visit Rep Harper’s website
274-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
4926 South Ashland
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 925-6584 FAX