Legislation 2019

Clean Energy Jobs Act

The new Clean Energy Jobs Act (HB 3624/SB 2132), sponsored by 34 state representatives and 10 state senators. The bill would move Illinois to 100% renewable energy by 2050, cut carbon pollution from the state’s power sector by 2030, and create steps to electrify the transportation sector. At the same time, the legislation would help keep a lid on energy bills and lead to economic benefits, especially in the form of new jobs, for communities that need them the most.

The legislation is supported by  the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition ( ICJC) is a group of more than 200 organizations, businesses, and community leaders working together to advance clean energy jobs, lower energy bills, and healthier air and water.  The group championed the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), which passed the Illinois General Assembly with bipartisan support and was signed into law in 2016.

Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA)

the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), a law enacted in late 2016 that increased the amount of solar and wind energy produced in Illinois while saving customers money on their bills . AAEA supported this legislation.

The Generally Assembly finds that:        (1) the State should encourage: the adoption and    deployment of cost-effective distributed energy resource    technologies and devices, such as photovoltaics, which can    encourage private investment in renewable energy    resources, stimulate economic growth, enhance the    continued diversification of Illinois' energy resource    mix, and protect the Illinois environment; investment in    renewable energy resources, including, but not limited to,    photovoltaic distributed generation, which should benefit    all citizens of the State, including low-income    households; and        (2) the State's existing energy efficiency standard    should be updated to ensure that customers continue to    realize increased value, to incorporate and optimize    measures enabled by the smart grid, including voltage    optimization measures, and to provide incentives for    electric utilities to achieve the energy savings goals.    (b) The General Assembly finds that low-income customersshould be included within the State's efforts to expand the useof distributed generation technologies and devices.
     Section 1.5. Zero emission standard legislative findings.

The General Assembly finds and declares:        (1) Reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other air    pollutants, such as sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and    particulate matter, is critical to improving air quality in    Illinois for Illinois residents.        (2) Sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and particulate    emissions have significant adverse health effects on    persons exposed to them, and carbon dioxide emissions    result in climate change trends that could significantly    adversely impact Illinois.        (3) The existing renewable portfolio standard has been    successful in promoting the growth of renewable energy    generation to reduce air pollution in Illinois. However, to    achieve its environmental goals, Illinois must expand its    commitment to zero emission energy generation and value the    environmental attributes of zero emission generation that    currently falls outside the scope of the existing renewable    portfolio standard, including, but not limited to, nuclear    power.        (4) Preserving existing zero emission energy    generation and promoting new zero emission energy    generation is vital to placing the State on a glide path to    achieving its environmental goals and ensuring that air    quality in Illinois continues to improve.        (5) The Illinois Commerce Commission, the Illinois    Power Agency, the Illinois Environmental Protection

Agency, and the Department of Commerce and Economic    Opportunity issued a report dated January 5, 2015 titled    "Potential Nuclear Power Plant Closings in Illinois" (the    Report), which addressed the issues identified by Illinois    House Resolution 1146 of the 98th General Assembly, which,    among other things, urged the Illinois Environmental    Protection Agency to prepare a report showing how the    premature closure of existing nuclear power plants in    Illinois will affect the societal cost of increased    greenhouse gas emissions based upon the Environmental    Protection Agency's published societal cost of greenhouse    gases.        (6) The Report also included analysis from PJM    Interconnection, LLC, which identified significant adverse    consequences for electric reliability, including    significant voltage and thermal violations in the    interstate transmission network, in the event that    Illinois' existing nuclear facilities close prematurely.    The Report also found that nuclear power plants are among    the most reliable sources of energy, which means that    electricity from nuclear power plants is available on the    electric grid all hours of the day and when needed, thereby    always reducing carbon emissions.        (7) Illinois House Resolution 1146 further urged that    the Report make findings concerning potential market-based    solutions that will ensure that the premature closure of

these nuclear power plants does not occur and that the    associated dire consequences to the environment, electric    reliability, and the regional economy are averted.        (8) The Report identified potential market-based    solutions that will ensure that the premature closure of    these nuclear power plants does not occur and that the    associated dire consequences to the environment, electric    reliability, and the regional economy are averted.    The General Assembly further finds that the Social Cost ofCarbon is an appropriate valuation of the environmentalbenefits provided by zero emission facilities, provided thatthe valuation is subject to a price adjustment that can reducethe price for zero emission credits below the Social Cost ofCarbon. This will ensure that the procurement of zero emissioncredits remains affordable for retail customers even if energyand capacity prices are projected to rise above 2016 levelsreflected in the baseline market price index.    The General Assembly therefore finds that it is necessaryto establish and implement a zero emission standard, which willincrease the State's reliance on zero emission energy throughthe procurement of zero emission credits from zero emissionfacilities, in order to achieve the State's environmentalobjectives and reduce the adverse impact of emitted airpollutants on the health and welfare of the State's citizens. 

Norris McDonaldComment