Pritzker Submits New State Plan For Green Energy

By Benjamin Cox on April 28, 2021 at 4:02pm

Governor J.B. Pritzker has issued a plan today to move the state to 100% renewable energy by 2045. Pritzker’s plan incorporates some elements of the other already-proposed measures in front of the Illinois General Assembly.

Hannah Meisel of NPR reports that Pritzker’s plan includes ending an energy rate formula lawmakers approved in 2011 that was championed by ComEd and Ameren. The rate law has come under recent scrutiny due to ComEd’s deferred prosecution agreement with the federal government that ensnared former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

The proposal would also phase out coal by 2030, and end natural gas use by 2045 by reducing caps on greenhouse gas emissions year over year, and implementing an $8 per ton carbon price on emissions from fossil fuel-fired electric plants.

Pritzker’s energy proposal would prohibit utility companies from using ratepayer funds for charitable contributions. The plan also would require the Illinois Commerce Commission — the state’s utility regulator — to investigate whether ComEd used ratepayer funds in connection with its deferred prosecution agreement. Pritzker’s plan would also provide short-term state support for two of the state’s nuclear power plants.

Pritzker’s proposal comes on the heels of the reintroduced Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2019 in February aimed at expanding the state’s renewable energy industry. CEJA calls for the state to move to 100% renewable energy by 2050 and a carbon-free power sector by 2030.

House Bill 804 would provide incentives for businesses and communities to install charging stations for electric vehicles, offer on-the-job training opportunities for workers transitioning out of carbon-producing industries, and hire diverse workforces in green sector jobs. The act has been re-referred to the House Rules Committee for another reading.