Renewable Energy Illinois

Renewable Energy Illinois – Chicago Architect University of Illinois tells via Flickr, CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 About 10 years ago, Illinois had about two dozen coal-fired power plants and less than 2 percent of its electricity. renewable sources such as wind and solar. A Midwestern nation long dependent on fossil fuels, the prospect of 100 percent clean energy seemed like an optimistic prospect. “It was considered ridiculous, at least in some circles,” said Illinois clean energy advocate J. Kibbey. “I think we’ve always known that this has to happen if we want to avoid the worst effects of climate change.” J. B. Illinois Governor Pritzker signs the Climate and Fair Work Act at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago on September 15, 2021. J. Kibbey/Now Illinois shows how quickly the tides can turn. This September, Governor JB Pritzker signed the Climate and Equal Employment Opportunity Act (CEJA). It is some of the most comprehensive climate legislation ever enacted, targeting 100% carbon-free energy and workers and capital by 2045. The question is: can other countries learn from this? Lessons learned from the past climate events of the CEJA were initially drawn from a simpler piece of legislation: the Future Energy Employment Act (FEJA) of 2016, which also sought to expand the scope. clean energy and the jobs that support it. While it has made some progress in improving energy efficiency and reducing costs for consumers, the potential for renewable energy recovery has been hampered by the political influence of utilities and fossil fuel companies. Scott Olson/Getty Images Lawyers for a worker repairing a wind turbine in Dwight, Illinois, also found that the legislation did not sufficiently provide for his benefits. First, clean energy job training programs have not been adequately prioritized or funded, making it difficult for low-income workers to receive sufficient support and enrollment. Even when workers were employed, wages were not as high as promised. Community solar projects that aim to make renewable energy more affordable have been built in rural Illinois, not in cities that benefit communities of color and generate jobs. “Hundreds of millions of dollars in programs and funding have not been returned to the majority of black and brown taxpayers,” said Naomi Davis of Chicago, founder of Blacks on Green, which helps build a clean energy economy in black communities. .Building a strong coalition A different strategy is needed to correct these problems. The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, which helped pass FEJA, was bigger, broader and more ambitious. Grassroots groups working on climate advocacy and environmental justice in the state have been active for more than a decade, including organizations such as Small Village Environmental Justice and Southeast Environmental Task Force, as well as National Green Regional Arms. But now, recognizing that building a truly inclusive clean energy future will require the buy-in of all of Illinois, the coalition has also worked with a host of new allies, from businesses and organized labor groups to consumer advocates and faith-based organizations. The partners of Unete La Villita, Foro del Pueblo and Mi Villita in the Small Village of Environmental Justice gathered with residents, neighbors and allies to celebrate the environmental disaster caused by Hilco, on April 11, 2021 Max Herman said: “Often, the labor and environmental groups. they’re one, against each other. there is, but we can have climate and labor justice,” said Roberto Clack, executive director of Warehouse Workers for Justice in Chicago, a member of the coalition. “We operate in one of the largest freight hubs in the country. Diesel particulate matter and local pollution are the main concerns.” (On its website, the group notes that seven interstate highways run through the Chicago area and that the city is home to global world). the third largest container port as well as a major railway hub (even one). move and logistics centers will be cleaned up and help our community in the long run,” Clack added. Since 2018, the coalition has held more than 100 hearings in nearly every state Senate district, taking the lessons of FEJA into account. “In instead of sitting in a room somewhere and saying, “This would be a just transition to clean energy,” we went around the city and asked, “What do you want to see in this transition?” we ask,” says Kibbey. “Early on, we realized that people were really interested in jobs, especially in communities where there was a lot of investment,” said Mike Atty, executive director of the faith-based social justice advocacy group United Congregations Metro. east The coalition took what it learned from those sessions and set out to shape what the next generation of climate legislation will look like. The changing political culture is keeping up with the times. As the coalition changed, so did the political climate. which is organized. In 2018, Illinois voters elected a new generation of lawmakers, “important climate change who know, understand the problem and are willing to help,” Kibbey said. The state also elected Pritzker as governor. It was presented on a platform. of 100 percent clean energy and once in office promised to veto any bill that fell short. With climate change considered a reality, elected officials now control both chambers of the state legislature and the governor’s office, allowing them to shape bold policy decisions. Youth Climate Strike Illinois State Director Adelina Avalos and Social Media Director Deepti Hossain (right) at Clean Energy Lobby Day in Springfield, Illinois on October 29, 2019. Yet it has taken a long time to address racial injustice in the country late stories about environmental racism. Adelina Avalos, an environmental justice advocate for the Illinois Youth Climate Movement, said she jumped into CEJA’s defense because it was one of the first laws she saw against environmental racism. He grew up in Chicago on the highly industrialized, predominantly Latino Southeast Side. “Historically, we were a victimized area. Growing up, it seemed normal to me that everyone’s neighborhood was full of factories and semi-trucks,” says Ávalos. As a teenager, Avalos began making daily trips to downtown Chicago, where he joined his peers in other parts of the city, full of parks and leafy streets. It was then that Ávalos realized that not everything grows in a polluted environment. He realizes that the climate bill does not only require reducing emissions. The creation of the state of Illinois was necessary. In 2018 , the coalition’s campaign for stronger and fairer clean energy legislation was in full swing. Local members spent days lobbying at the state capitol in Springfield. Then, in 2019, the coalition introduced the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Tens of thousands of young climate change protesters gathered in downtown Chicago to support the governor’s move Even as the pandemic began, advocacy continued in digital petitions to le voicemails, text and phone banking and online education. Youth activists at Clean Energy Lobby Day on October 29, 2019 in Springfield, Illinois. The scope and language of this law eventually became the basis of the Climate and Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 2021. However, negotiations to keep the ambitious CEJA ended with coalition groups and lawmakers releasing details via Zoom hours earlier that the bill had been approved. But the work paid off. In September, the CEJA passed with bipartisan support in the House and Senate and was signed by the governor less than 48 hours later. Different types of climate law Through years of proclamation, CEJA met the need of the moment. . The landmark law would provide carbon-free energy by 2045, making it the first state in the Midwest to completely phase out fossil fuels and one of only eight states nationally. It would close all remaining coal plants, including the Prairie State Energy Campus, one of the nation’s most polluting, and more than quintuple renewable energy generation. It will invest millions in energy efficiency programs while improving oversight of utilities, putting customers first and transitioning to electric vehicles. At the CTA electric bus charging station, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) No. 66 in Chicago, but the law’s biggest news lies in its unprecedented focus on workers and equity. A network of 13 clean energy vocational training centers will soon cross the state, offering many participants financial aid to help with transportation and child care. The law also encourages clean energy companies to hire these workers after they complete training programs. “There’s a pipeline that cleans energy jobs from start to finish,” Kibbey says. The centers are also strategically located close to each other

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