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Illinois Ag News Headlines
Pritzker, Coalition, PIRG Comment on Energy Compromise
Illinois Ag Connection - 09/10/2021

Governor JB Pritzker released the following statement Thursday on the latest comprehensive energy package, Senate Bill 2408:

"I would like to thank Speaker Welch and Leader Evans for their collaborative leadership in reaching a compromise amendment that puts consumers and climate first, while protecting and creating jobs. I look forward to this amendment advancing in the House and Senate and making its way to my desk where I will sign this historic agreement into law."

The Illinois House originally considered omnibus energy legislation that could have provided utility companies with windfall profits at customers' expense. If passed, the legislation, Senate Bill 2408, would extend formula rate policies that guarantee utility profits, according to Illinois PRIG.

In the wake of the ComEd corruption scandal, Illinois PIRG said the original legislation failed to include key policies Illinois PIRG and allies have called for, policies that were included in Gov. JB Pritzker's proposed legislation in April, including a complete end to formula rates, ending similar gas utility bill surcharges and ending utilities' ability to charge customers for utility "charitable" giving.

Last week, AARP Illinois released a new analysis that found the legislation would result in a $15 monthly increase on the average residential customer's utility bill and a $14 billion overall increase in customer bills over the next decade. Of that $14 billion, the single biggest cost driver is not the Exelon bailout or increases in renewable energy funding, but rather ComEd profits, through higher distribution rates. Analysis from Crain's Chicago Business found similar, while lower cost, outcomes.

Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition also commented on the bill after a compromise was reached Thursday.

"After more than three years of community collaboration, the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition is proud to support this legislation that meaningfully addresses our climate emergency, takes bold action on creating equitable jobs all across the state, and enacts tough utility accountability measures including the end of automatic formula rate hikes.

"Throughout recent negotiations, our diverse coalition's values have been simple and clear: a climate bill must include a specific timeline for decarbonization as well as interim pollution reductions demanded by science and public health. And, it must create good-paying jobs and wealth for working families in Illinois' Black and Brown communities, which are often the first to suffer negative consequences of pollution but the last to reap the health and economic benefits of a clean energy future.

"This agreed upon legislation accomplishes those goals. We would like to thank Governor Pritzker, legislative leaders, and stakeholders for their hard work and urge lawmakers to vote yes on this historic legislation."

The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition is made up of more than 200 consumer, business, environmental, environmental justice, health care, faith-based and student organizations.

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