No time to waste getting clean-energy legislation
When standing in a group of 500 clean-energy advocates under the Capitol dome in Springfield, I felt a surge of both excitement and gratitude for being part of strong democratic movement. Advocates arrived from all over the state and met with 100 legislators. In our discussions with them, we gained new insight into the complexities of Illinois politics and the difficulties involved in bringing all the key players to the table and negotiating a solution as we had so successfully done for the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA).
The Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA), which expands on FEJA, may not be called for vote during the veto session. If not this time, we are looking forward to another try at reintroducing a clean-energy bill for the next legislative session. Time is of the essence for a stronger state policy to reinvigorate neighborhoods that need a boost while reducing carbon pollution.
A stronger response at the federal level is important also. The best idea put forth is The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, which would place a steadily rising fee on carbon pollution and return all revenue to households equally.
This bill is a market-based approach with bipartisan support and will drive down carbon pollution while putting money in people's pockets.
It will also be good for business and will create jobs. Meanwhile, I thank Congressman Sean Casten for treating climate change seriously as he works with his colleagues in Congress to move us forward on legislation that works. Effective federal policy can help us at the state level, so let's work together and get it done for the benefit of future generations.