Springfield, Ill. — Climate Jobs Illinois (CJI) today called for the Illinois state legislature to reject an 11th hour attempt to allow more ratepayer dollars to fund additional renewable energy credits (RECs) without strong labor standards or adequate equity provisions. 

On Monday, an amendment was filed that would allow the new RECs to be used on projects without prevailing wage, responsible bidder, labor peace agreements or project labor agreements standards, for all workers. 

“Bad decisions are usually made at late hours. This bill is full of them,” Climate Jobs Illinois Executive Director Nikki Budzinski said. “Allowing out-of-state developers to take hundreds of millions more in ratepayer money while exempting them from having strong protections for working families and disadvantaged communities does not move our state to a cleaner and better future.”

The program is currently under investigation by the auditor general. 

Added Budzinski: “This bill is an inadequate response to two of the state’s largest challenges: equality and climate change. It does nothing to stabilize the state’s nuclear fleet that generates more than 50 percent of our electricity and 24,000 jobs. Any renewable energy project that uses Illinois taxpayer and ratepayer money should require the highest labor standards and build greater equity.”

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, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, Illinois Education Association, Illinois Federation of Teachers, International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union, 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.

By advocating for bold clean energy investments with comprehensive labor standards, including prevailing wage, apprenticeship requirements, labor peace agreements, project labor agreements and responsible bidder requirements, Climate Jobs Illinois is working to ensure these jobs create more pathways to the middle class, especially for communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. 

Follow CJI at @ClimateJobsIL on Twitter or join its Facebook page