The Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) is a bill that would put Illinois on an equitable path to 100 percent renewable energy, decarbonize the power sector, and reduce pollution from the transportation sector without raising consumer energy bills.
One component of CEJA includes Clean Energy Empowerment Zones that focus on communities who have relied on fossil fuel jobs and support a “just transition” to new resilient economies. As a part of the transition, fossil fuel workers (including coal miners and power plant workers) will be provided with advanced notice of plant closure and education and retraining opportunities. Along with worker support, communities will benefit through new state economic development resources for new business tax incentives and local property tax revenue replacement.
If we want a just transition, we need to work to do what the coal companies are failing to do: prioritize workers and ensure that no community is left behind.
Our local, state, and federal leaders will be returning to Springfield this fall to consider policies to help our communities recover from the pandemic and boost our economy.
Coal companies are already at the table asking for a handout that will only serve to protect their executives and shareholders and temporarily prop up a failing industry. Instead, we can choose to reinvest in our workers and in our communities.
September 12, 2020 at 09:29AM