peters ep 091421SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) praised the energy plan that passed the General Assembly Monday, saying it will help fight climate change and transition Illinois to a renewable energy economy that includes minority workers.

“I represent a district that borders Chicago’s lakefront, and we’re seeing the results of climate change now,” Peters said. “Changing water levels are causing increased erosion and endangering parks, businesses, and homes on Lake Michigan. But, those are just short-term effects – in the long term, we’re talking about making sure humans can still live on the planet.”

The legislation would establish a goal of 100% clean energy by 2050. It also would more than double the state’s budget for renewable energy and set a goal of 50% renewable energy by 2040. It would further set firm deadlines for fossil fuel-burning power plants to either close or repurpose to produce clean energy, and it would allow two new renewable energy transmission lines to be built.

As the state transitions to a clean energy economy, many new jobs will be created in the renewable energy sector – an area that Black and Brown workers and contractors have historically struggled to find work. The legislation would put in place a number of equity provisions to help ensure more minority workers get the good-paying jobs the renewable energy sector will create.

“This legislation is all about the future – the future of our planet and the future of our workforce,” Peters said. “This is an opportunity to ensure Black people, Latinos, and other people of color can get their foot in the door at the beginning, rather than trying to break into a white-dominated industry years down the road.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 2408, now goes to the governor, who is expected to sign it.