Democratic hopefuls for 51st Illinois House seat support green initiatives

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The Democratic candidates for the 51st District Illinois House seat say they would promote green energy initiatives, if elected.

Vying for the party’s nomination in the June 28 primary are Nabeela Syed of Inverness and Chelsea Laliberte Barnes of Palatine.

"This is an issue that is a top priority of mine," Syed said. "Science has made it clear that we need to act swiftly to protect our environment."

Likewise, Barnes said environmental concerns are top of mind with her.

"I look at my little baby’s face every day, and this is one of those issues that just pops in my head. Is he going to have a community, a planet to thrive on? It keeps me up at night," she said.

Both candidates praised the state legislature for passing the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, which aims to put the state on the path toward 100% clean energy and invests in workforce training.

"It addresses both the economic and the environmental concerns," Syed said. "It addresses the need for immediate action and also the disproportionate impact that climate change has on communities of color."

Both believe Illinois has more work ahead of it.

Barnes said the state could provide resources to conservation groups like the Lake County-based Citizens for Conservation and Ancient Oaks Foundation. She also supports investing in green energy.

"We have a huge landmass, and our landmass alone could be an absolute haven to expand solar and wind energy," she said. "And it will help us decrease our dependency on coal and oil. while hiking up those good paying jobs."

Syed said she is a strong proponent of a coal severance tax, which would place a tax on the severance and preparation of coal for sale, profit or commercial use.

"If we implement what other states like Texas and Alabama have done, we could generate nearly $100 million from this and help communities transition away from coal," she said.

Both pointed out the need to take care of environmental concerns close to home.

Barnes said she is concerned about the damage to the environment from new businesses coming into the area, such as gas stations and car dealerships, and believes the onus should be on the companies for environmental cleanup.

Syed said community members are concerned about highly hazardous materials traveling by freight train through the region. Engaging the chemical and the railroad industry is important, she said.

The winner of the June 28 primary will face Republican state Rep. Chris Bos of Lake Zurich in the Nov. 8 general election.

The 51st District includes parts of Palatine, Inverness, Hoffman Estates, Rolling Meadows, Barrington, Kildeer, Deer Park, Long Grove, Vernon Hills, Lake Zurich and Hawthorn Woods.

via DailyHerald.com > Top News

May 27, 2022 at 09:49AM

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