Illinois on Monday adopted one of the country’s most aggressive clean energy bills, with great success from environmental advocates who, oddly enough, are also saving some of the state’s largest clean energy sources: nuclear power.
The bill, known as the Climate and Equal Jobs Act, was passed Monday in the Senate by 37-17 votes and goes to be signed by Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker. Pritzker praised the account on Twitter On Monday, he told her to “look[ed] forward to sign the law. “In his statement on passing the bill, Joe Duffy, executive director of Climate Jobs Illinois, a coalition of labor organizations advocating for the bill, called it “the legislation that most supports workers, the country’s curse.”
Huge (almost 1,000 pages) account it reads like a wish list for most modern environmental movements. It calls for the closure of coal and natural gas factories by 2045, with closer dates for fossil fuel plants located in communities that do not have enough services. The bill also allocates $ 580 million each year to build wind and solar energy, including a significant increase in community solar funding, aimed at raising the state’s renewable energy standard to 40% by 2030 and 50% by 2040. training programs to increase opportunities for people from BIPOC in the renewable energy industry, expand energy efficiency programs and weather forecasts in low-income communities, and set new standards of performance in the clean energy industry.
What is important – and unusual for a bill supporting green groups – the law also contains great help for the state-owned nuclear industry. It sets aside nearly $ 700 million in subsidies to prevent the closure of the Byron and Dresden production stations, two out of six nuclear power plants in the state. This will extend their lifespan by another 5 years. Exelon, the owners of the plant and one of the largest utility companies in the country, founded it deadline by September 13th– the day the Climate and Equal Jobs Act was passed – the day they should start closing Byron without state help. This would shut down one of the largest nuclear power plants in the country. A report by nuclear advocates estimates that six Illinois nuclear power plants currently provide 90% of the pure strength of the state. Some analysis they showed that plant closures would encourage more frequent coal and gas plants to keep the network operational, in addition to affecting thousands of factory workers.
Nuclear energy is, on paper, a promising source of zero-emission energy: some climate scientists like James Hansen have stressed the need to strengthen nuclear energy to move the world off fossil fuels and prevent the worst consequences of climate change. But thanks to public skepticism about its safety and skyrocketing technology prices, the industry has done so fell in difficult times.
As a result, the network’s remaining nuclear power plants in the U.S. have turned into a kind of hot potato energy, a source of complex business talks, clean energy, and energy prices that don’t often fall along clear political lines. In Ohio, the rescue scheme for that state’s nuclear industry is tied to the fate of coal-fired power plants. Some of the Republicans who pushed the package were later overthrown bribery charges to take money from FirstEnergy, the company that owned the nuclear power plants in question.
Meanwhile, many green groups cheered the closure of an Indian manufacturing station in New York earlier this year. They pointed to promising renewable energy sources to reduce government emissions, despite the fact that the closure of the factory deprived the region its largest source of carbon-free energy and some estimates that emissions could temporarily increase as new renewables emerge online.
Illinois law, on the other hand, clearly links nuclear power rescue new provisions on clean business and environmental justice. Green groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club supported the closure of nuclear power plants in the past, and the Sierra Club has done so uttered against nuclear energy subsidies in Illinois. But both groups welcomed the adoption of this new law.
Success in Illinois does not mean that nuclear energy has suddenly found itself on the table of green groups. “Illinois needs to switch from dirty fossil fuels as soon as possible to fight the climate crisis,” JC Kibbey, a clean energy advocate for the NRDC in Illinois, said. “In the long run, we will separate from nuclear energy because wind and solar energy provide cheaper and safer and a more reliable energy source. We do that in Illinois. We are making a roadmap for an orderly transition to the future of clean energy. ”
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