SPRINGFIELD, IL (September 13, 2021) – Following is a statement from the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) Executive Director Jen Walling on today’s historic Senate vote on SB2408, the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act:
“This is a story about the power of people and the environmental movement in Illinois standing up to big fossil fuel and utility companies–and winning. The passage of this bill is proof that years of education, advocacy and movement building have secured a strong climate action majority in the Illinois General Assembly.
“Gov. JB Pritzker and environmental champions in the House and Senate sided with their constituents over polluting fossil fuel industries who, until today, dictated energy policy in our state. IEC extends our sincere thanks for their dedication to passing a true climate bill with nation-leading equity standards, which will create thousands of good-paying jobs and put Illinois on a path to a 100% clean energy future. These legislators have provided a just transition for workers and communities historically dependent on dirty fossil fuels. They have enacted some of the toughest utility accountability measures in the nation. And, through this legislation, they will create jobs and wealth in Illinois’ Black and Brown communities, who have too often been the first to suffer the negative consequences of pollution, but the last to reap the health and economic benefits of a clean energy future.
“The legacy of fossil fuels in the power sector poisoning our communities and driving the climate crisis will officially come to an end in 2045. There is still more work to do, but today we celebrate this leap forward in creating a more equitable and thriving environment for generations to come.”