Springfield, Ill. — Climate Jobs Illinois today applauded Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s call for a clean energy bill that preserves Illinois’ nuclear fleets and expands the state’s wind and solar industries. But the labor coalition stressed that any energy legislation must include strong labor standards to create true economic opportunities for Illinois families.
“Gov. Pritzker is right to prioritize clean energy legislation this year that preserves the state’s nuclear fleet as part of a comprehensive plan to transition Illinois toward a clean energy economy,” said CJI Executive Director Joe Duffy. “However, any clean energy legislation must put Illinois’ working families first and include comprehensive labor standards so these new clean energy jobs provide a path to the middle class, especially for communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.”
Among Climate Jobs Illinois’ policy recommendation to move Illinois to a 100% clean energy economy is to stabilize the state’s nuclear plants to ensure adequate baseload availability from clean energy sources and to save 24,000 jobs in communities that rely heavily on the tax revenue generated by these plants to fund education and critical local government services.
The union coalition has proposed including the Braidwood, Byron, Dresden and LaSalle nuclear plants in the Zero Emission Standard (ZES) program and adopting the Fixed Resource Requirement process, or a similar process that allows the nuclear fleet to remain competitive in future capacity auctions. Currently, only the Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plants are included in the program and receive zero emission credits (ZECs), which compensate for the environmental benefits of carbon-free energy generation.
Climate Jobs Illinois represents the hundreds of thousands of Illinois working men and women who are best suited to build Illinois’ new clean-energy economy from the ground up. Executive Committee members of Climate Jobs Illinois are: Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, Illinois Education Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers, International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union, the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers State Council, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, Laborers International Union of North America Great Lakes Region, Laborers International Union of North America Midwest Region, Service Employees International Union State Council and United Auto Workers Region 4.
Climate Jobs Illinois is a state affiliate of the Climate Jobs National Resource Center. CJI has partnered with The Project for Middle Class Renewal at UIUC, Illinois Economic Policy Institute and Cornell University Worker Institute.
To learn more, visit https://climatejobsillinois.org, and follow CJI at @ClimateJobsIL on Twitter or join its Facebook page.