House Committee Moves CEJA Forward for a Vote!
Ask your elected officials to support the bill
Last night, the Illinois House Energy and Environment Committee passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act (click to read bill). Now, CEJA will move to the full House of Representatives for debate and a vote.
The Clean Energy Jobs Act, created by a coalition of organizations and businesses in Illinois, responds to today's challenge of climate change by providing comprehensive energy and climate legislation that puts Illinois on a path to 100% renewable energy by 2050; reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels; and creates tens of thousands of good paying jobs for Illinois residents along the way.
But It Also Puts Equity Front and Center
CJEA is designed to ensure that the benefits of a thriving clean energy economy are shared by all those who live in Illinois, making equity a central component. It is the ONLY comprehensive energy bill to combat climate change, create equitable jobs, and lower bills without bailouts for big utility and fossil fuel companies. It also tackles the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, the racial and economic justice crisis, and utility corruption in Springfield.
Photo credit: Illinois Power Agency, Illinois Solar for All Program
A Few Key Elements of CEJA
Illinois Solar for All - The new Illinois Solar For All Program is an expanded version of the program that was approved as part of the Future Energy Jobs Act. This groundbreaking solar deployment and job training initiative serves low-income and economically disadvantaged communities in every part of the state -- rural and urban areas alike. The program uses existing funds from the Renewable Energy Resources Fund established as part of FEJA. This program:
- Calls for job training to be incorporated into every solar installation carried out under the program if available. Companies installing on-site rooftop solar through the program must commit to hiring job trainees for a portion of their low-income installations.
- Is paired with a solar installer jobs training pipeline, including a goal that 50% of trainees come from environmental justice communities and that 2,000 jobs will be created for persons with a legal record and alumni of the foster care system, bridging environmental, social, and economic justice.
See Illinois Solar for All for more.
Just Transition - In Illinois and across the country, the transition away from coal power is underway. In fall 2019, four communities in central and southern Illinois experienced a coal plant closure with little warning, and Illinois has no policies to support those communities and workers in their transition to a new economy. As Illinois continues to transition away from fossil fuels, we need a plan that helps impacted workers and communities adapt to the inevitable energy transition and forge resilient, economic futures. CEJA provides for s an orderly transition by putting workers and communities first.
The program will be paid for by placing a small fee on fossil-fuel pollution and a 6% Coal Severance Fee on coal extraction. The fund supports the just transition in former fossil fuel communities, as well as the workforce programs in other parts of CEJA.
See Supporting Fossil Fuel Workers and Communities for more.
Ask Your Elected Officials to Support CEJA!
Thanks to those of you who took who “slipped” in support of this bill las week. If we are to realize the benefits this bill will bring to Illinois residents, we will need to work together to pass this bill before the end of the legislative session on May 31st. Will you take another moment to urge your state representative, state senator and Governor Pritzker to support the Clean Energy Jobs Act? Just click here to send your letter.
Banner photo credit: Daniel Schwen, 2009, via wikemedia.