Waukegan and Lake County Community Members Join Hundreds in Springfield for Clean Energy and Climate Action on Earth Day
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. (April 22, 2015)--Community members from Waukegan and Lake County rallied alongside more than 500 people from across the state today at the Illinois State Capitol in a call for clean energy and climate action. They were joined by several legislative co-sponsors of the bipartisan Illinois Clean Jobs Bill (HB 2607/SB1485).
The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill is supported by more than 41 co-sponsors in the House, 21 co-sponsors in the Senate and a coalition of more than 70 businesses and 30 organizations.
Two co-sponsors, State Representative Rita Mayfield and State Senator Julie Morrison, received rounds of applause during a town hall--style forum in Waukegan earlier this month when they said the measure would lower utility bills, bring clean energy investment to more communities, strengthen local tax bases, create family-sustaining jobs and reduce dangerous pollution from coal-fired power plants. The forum was sponsored by the Clean Power Lake County Campaign.
"Passing this bill is critical to ensuring we bring more clean energy jobs, clean air, and lower electricity bills to communities like Waukegan," said Susana Figueroa, a Waukegan resident with Faith in Place. "I'm thrilled to see our local legislators supporting the Clean Jobs Bill, which is a win-win for our economy, our environment and our pocketbooks."
The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill will cut energy use through efficiency by 20 percent by 2025 and raise standards for renewable wind and solar energy to 35 percent by 2030.
With energy policy taking center stage this year in the General Assembly, the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill has emerged as the only bill that can protect consumers and the environment while creating an estimated 32,000 jobs annually.
Just last week, two leading organizations--Citizens Utility Board and Union of Concerned Scientists--concluded independently that the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill would save customers billions of dollars, in stark contrast to two other pieces of energy-related legislation now pending in Springfield. In fact, the state's leading utility watchdog said this week that the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill is the only piece of legislation that would lead to customer savings.
"I've lived in Waukegan for X years and I believe that the best future for my community is one that is driven by clean energy innovation that will move us beyond our polluted, industrial past," said Maryfran Troha, Waukegan resident, and member of the Christ Episcopal Church of Waukegan. "The Clean Jobs Bill is another important step to making sure no community is left behind as we transition to a clean energy economy."
Also participating in the rally was Waukegan's 4th Ward Alderman-elect David Villalobos.
"I'm excited to go down to Springfield on Earth Day," Villalobos said. "I know that Waukegan can benefit from environmental legislation like the Clean Jobs Bill."
About the Clean Power Lake County Campaign
The Clean Power Lake County Campaign aims to bring the Lake County community together to build a just future based on clean air, clean water and a revitalized lakefront in Lake County. The coalition consists of the Agg'in Tribe, Christ Episcopal Church of Waukegan, the Environmental Law & Policy Center, the Exchange Club of North Chicago, Faith in Place, Incinerator Free Lake County, League of Women Voters-Lake County, Most Blessed Trinity Parish of Waukegan, NAACP's Lake County Branch, the Respiratory Health Association, the Sierra Club Woods & Wetlands Group, Waukegan Community Church and the Waukegan Bike Project.