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  • Writer's pictureJanet

Climate and Energy Bill Passed!

In This Issue:

  • Illinois: Climate and Energy Bill

  • Naperville: Climate and Energy Bill

  • Welcoming New Constituent Services Coordinator

  • Blood Donation Drive: Pint for a Pint!

  • October’s Coffee & Conversation

  • A Peek at November’s Events


Dear Friends, Illinois recently enacted the nation’s most consequential climate and energy bill, which takes bold action to meaningfully address climate change. Because of its large impact, I’m dedicating this newsletter almost exclusively to covering this legislation. Some of the big areas of impact of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act include:

  • Protecting the planet and public health

  • Holding utilities accountable

  • Expanding consumer protections

  • Creating and protecting carbon-free jobs

Most of our 41st district residents live in Naperville, and CEJA affects Naperville in specific and unique ways because of our city’s ownership of coal plants. As a result of that ownership, those in Naperville source 90% of our electricity from coal (Illinois as a whole only gets 30% of power from coal). I’ll cover Naperville’s specific path forward on energy as a result of CEJA, too. In addition to preparing for late October’s legislative veto session, we’ve also been busy working throughout our district with constituents and sponsoring events. In addition to our monthly Coffee & Conversation, we’re having a district blood drive this Saturday. We’re seeing local and nation-wide blood supply shortages, and you can save up to three lives each time you donate! I hope to see you there and at the many other great events taking place across our community. Sincerely, Janet


Illinois: Climate and Energy Bill In mid-September, Governor JB Pritzker signed the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, a sweeping and nation-leading 900+ page bill that passed the Illinois House and Senate with bipartisan support. This legislation also passed with support from all major stakeholders: Because CEJA affects the whole state--including urban, suburban, and rural areas; all income levels; residents and manufacturers/businesses--it was imperative that everyone had a voice in its formation. CEJA supercharges our state on a path toward a carbon-free future and has already become a model for states across the U.S. to follow. There were many components to this bill, including these major areas:

  • Protecting the Planet and Public Health

    • Puts Illinois on a path to 100% clean energy by 2050 and 100% carbon-free power by 2045. This includes closing the Prairie State Energy Campus coal plant, which I’ll cover more in the Naperville-related section, below.

    • Funds investments in renewables, such as solar and wind, supporting a move from today’s 9% renewables to 40% renewables in 2030 and 50% by 2040.

    • Invests $80 million in electric transportation with a goal to put 1 million electric cars on the road by 2030. Includes $4,000 consumer rebates and expanded network of charging stations throughout the state so wherever you are, you can count on being able to charge your car.

  • Holding Utilities Accountable

    • For customers of investor-owned utilities (like ComEd or Ameren, which does not include Naperville residents), removes automatic rate increases, moving to performance- and market-based metrics based on areas such as reliability and customer service performance.

    • Creates more ethics oversight and new Illinois Commerce Commission to audit and enforce utility ethics compliance.

  • Expanding Consumer Protections

    • Helps low-income residents with lower rates and late fee prohibitions.

    • Eliminates online payment fees.

  • Creating and Protecting Carbon-Free Jobs

    • Creates incentives to build solar generation and energy storage at sites of closed coal generation plants.

    • Protects over 2,000 jobs in nuclear energy plants via a $700 million subsidy (more on the funding mechanism below). Nuclear power makes up 54% of Illinois’ overall power supply and represents its largest source of carbon-free power. The subsidy--a fraction of Exelon’s original request—was agreed to only after examining the plants’ financial books and includes provisions that lower the subsidy based on market price movements.

    • Re-opens solar incentive program to save solar jobs

    • Creates programs in solar and energy efficiency sectors, including new workforce hubs and apprenticeship programs.

It’s also important to cover how we will pay for CEJA. For the typical customer of an investor-owned utility (this includes ComEd customers in Warrenville but does not include Naperville residents), the cost of these programs will come through the electric rate that you pay. The Citizens Utility Board estimates that in a worst-case scenario, electric rates will increase by an average of 3.51%; this translates to an average ComEd residential customer bill increase of $3.51 per month. This maximum-cost analysis does not include savings from programs like energy efficiency or lower cost solar energy that are made possible by CEJA. The Citizens Utility Board expects consumers will actually experience overall cost savings if all components of CEJA are implemented correctly.

Naperville: Climate and Energy Bill

It’s hard to overstate the magnitude of CEJA. We were able to pass it in no small part because of the many, many constituents in our district who made their voices heard and helped guide the conviction with which I could approach negotiations on our community’s behalf.

Making sure CEJA had enough votes to pass the legislature and get signed by the Governor involved specifically addressing the Prairie State Energy Campus coal plant, which is the nation’s 7th largest carbon polluter. Naperville sources a significant portion of its electricity from Prairie State, and as residents and Naperville Electric customers, we are owners of this plant and have also been paying off its bonds since 2007.

A date-certain closure of Prairie State was imperative to move forward on our state’s carbon-free goals. Because of our close collaboration with community members and City of Naperville staff, we were able to establish closure dates that move us forward on these goals without unduly punishing Naperville residents with double bond and electricity payments. As a result, getting Illinois to 100% carbon free power by 2045 will include:

  • Closing Prairie State Energy Campus coal plant by 2045.

  • Reducing Prairie State carbon emissions by 45% by 2038. In practice, this will likely be accomplished by closing one of Prairie State’s two generators.

These milestones will go a long way toward making a reality the Naperville City Council’s recent unanimous vote to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2036. I’m grateful to the City Council’s full support in pursuing these goals, as well as the tireless work of members of the Naperville Environmental Environment and Sustainability Taskforce for their advocacy and hard work.

Because CEJA did not include the originally proposed carbon taxes and because these shutdown and closure dates occur after the 2035 maturity date of our bonds, Naperville electricity customers will not see a rate increase from this legislation.

I hope you take as much pride as I do in knowing how much of a difference our community’s voice made in shaping CEJA and the future of clean energy in Illinois.

Welcoming New Constituents Services Coordinator We’re thrilled to have recently welcomed Meag as our district’s new Constituent Services Coordinator! As a Naperville resident who has lived around the world and comes to us by way of the University of Chicago development office and Loaves and Fishes, Meag has been a welcome addition to our office. We especially appreciate Meag’s empathic spirit when working with constituents and the enthusiasm she’s brought to managing our Museum Pass program.

Blood Donation Drive: Pint for a Pint!

In recent weeks, our area has seen sharp decreases in blood donations, leading to critically low blood supplies. Please consider joining us this Saturday to donate blood.

As a small thank you for your effort, all donations will receive a free pint glass!

October’s Coffee & Conversation

We meet on the last Saturday of each month for Coffee & Conversation, and we’d love to chat with you virtually this month on October 30!

These are casual ways to share your thoughts and learn about what’s going on in the district and in Springfield. Please consider joining us!

A Peek at November’s Events

We’re finalizing the details for November’s events, and it’s looking like a packed schedule. Below are a few events to pencil onto your calendars. We’ll make sure to send more details in upcoming newsletters.

  • November 1-3: Mobile Museum of Tolerance at Naperville’s 95th Street Library, presented with Senator Laura Ellman

  • Throughout November: Citizen Advisory Panels. Please fill out our survey to indicate your areas of interest and to be notified of meeting details.

  • November 2: Environmental Town Hall on the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act with Representative Terra Costa Howard

  • November 10: 41st District Town Hall on Facebook Live

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