Illinois Uniquely Positioned to Create Jobs with Federal Investments
BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL, IL – Tomorrow, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will travel to the Bloomington-Normal metropolitan area to highlight the Illinois Department of Transportation’s work to make electric vehicles more accessible to all Illinoisans. Secretary Buttigieg’s visit comes on the heels of yesterday’s announcement from President Biden’s Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Energy (DOE) that $5 billion will be invested toward building out a nationwide network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers as part of the recently passed infrastructure law. As part of Biden’s “Justice40” initiative, the agencies said at least 40 percent of the benefits of these investments will go to disadvantaged communities.
“These investments will build on Illinois’ new efforts to make clean cars accessible to all Illinoisans, and help drivers escape high gas prices,” says Sierra Club Illinois Director Jack Darin. “Under the recently passed Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), Illinois is now on the road to a cleaner future by expanding access to and adoption of electric vehicles, public transit, and medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles. The climate crisis knows no borders, and investments on both the state and federal level are critical to achieving a clean energy future.”
The Biden administration estimates that approximately $15 billion will get the nation to half a million charging stations. The Build Back Better Act, if passed by Congress, would further bolster these infrastructure investments with another almost $7.3 billion. The Build Back Better framework represents the largest ever single investment in our clean energy economy, and includes critical funding to transform the transportation sector while prioritizing environmental justice.
“CEJA put Illinois ahead of the pack on clean energy and positioned us to implement significant investments in job-creating projects like the buildout of EV charging infrastructure, but we can’t do it alone,” said Jen Walling, Executive Director of the Illinois Environmental Council. “President Biden’s announcement is fantastic news for Illinois, and now Congress must pick up the baton and pass the Build Back Better Agenda so that we can power the millions of electric vehicles that will be built right here in our state.”