Proponents of a pending Illinois clean energy bill saw support Wednesday from U.S. Reps. Bobby Rush (D-IL,1) and Mike Quigley (D-IL,5) as well as Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
The elected officials joined business, public health and faith leaders to discuss how the proposed Illinois Clean Jobs Bill could play a key role in the state's path to complying with the Obama administration's finalized Clean Power Plan, which was released on Monday.
The Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan looks to slash carbon emissions from existing U.S. power plants. Specifically, it calls for cutting carbon emissions to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
"We have a moral obligation to leave our children and grandchildren cleaner air to breathe and a planet less exposed to the dangers of climate change. Through the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration has challenged Illinois to meet this obligation," Quigley said in a statement. "And fortunately, we are well positioned to meet the president's challenge. By implementing policies like the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill and Clean Power Plan that promotes job creation, innovation and competition on the state and federal level, our clean energy sector can finally realize its potential."
The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill would strengthen statewide standards around renewable energy and energy efficiency.
"President Obama has taken an important step forward in responding to the challenge of climate change," Madigan added. "Now Illinois needs to start crafting an implementation plan that reduces carbon pollution and keeps energy bills affordable for consumers. I look forward to working with all Illinois stakeholders to develop an effective and economic approach for Illinois to comply."
In addition to the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill, there are two other energy-related proposals under consideration in Springfield, including one being pushed by Exelon and another by ComEd.