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Illinois passes binding 100% clean energy bill

The Illinois legislature gave final approval Monday to a bill that sets the state on a path to 100% carbon-free power by 2045.

The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act heads to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk to be signed into law, which he has indicated he plans to do.

Senate Bill 2408 represents the most robust energy justice bill in the nation and sets new precedent for how states can help navigate a just transition to a renewable energy economy that puts disadvantaged communities at the helm,” John Delurey, senior regional director for Vote Solar’s lobbying efforts in the Midwest, said in a statement. “The bill is transformative far beyond the renewable energy sector, with policies around utility ethics reform, transportation electrification, and pollution reductions.”

The bill will keep three Excelon nuclear plants open for five years while requiring the state’s coal and natural gas plants to decarbonize or close by 2045. The bill provides over $80 million per year for solar and energy workforce development, expands the Illinois Solar for All program, and offers electric vehicle and transportation incentives.

If signed into law, the bill will make Illinois the 11th state to mandate 100% carbon-free energy.

“Illinois is the first state in the country with a climate action plan that centers equity and economic investments in clean energy to help communities that need them the most,” said J.C. Kibbey, Illinois clean energy advocate for NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act can serve as a national example of how a transition to clean energy can create jobs, protect communities and keep utilities accountable.”

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