Rep. Evans’ Rust Belt to Green Belt Offshore Wind Initiative Passes Illinois House (Springfield, IL) — As the state and nation continue to look for alternative energy sources to confront our changing climate, State Representative Marcus C. Evans, Jr. (D–Chicago) successfully moved legislation greenlighting the next step in expanding offshore wind energy sources in Illinois.
“There are far too many people in the communities I represent who don’t have access to good–paying jobs nor do they usually benefit from new expansions in the clean energy sector,” said Assistant Majority Leader Marcus C. Evans, Jr. “This measure will allow the state to meet the ambitious clean energy goals set in the Clean Energy Jobs Act while making substantial investments to bring jobs to underserved areas.”
Rep. Evans House Bill 2132, also known as the Rust Belt to Green Belt Pilot Program Act, will allow the state to begin taking the initial steps to bring a large–scale offshore wind project to Lake Michigan. The location and scope of the project will be finalized at a later date as discussion moves forward. The legislation passed out of the House with bipartisan support and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
“Good jobs and good sources of sustainable energy are something that everyone can get excited about whether they are Black, White, Republican or Democrat,” said Assistant Majority Leader Evans. “I am elated to continue to advocate for this monumental act as it begins its journey in the other chamber, and I look forward to hearing from the communities and stakeholders that this act will affect.”
HB 2132 allows Illinois to begin the process of making offshore wind in Lake Michigan a reality. Specifically, the legislation:
- Allows the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to seek federal funding to build an offshore wind port
- Directs the Illinois Power Agency to procure power from an offshore wind pilot project.
- *Legislative action must happen for these initial steps to take place*
- Once passed, DCEO would be able to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to find private companies capable of building the necessary wind infrastructure.
The legislation contains a provision requiring a community benefits agreement to ensure that the jobs generated from the project go towards the Black and Brown communities that need them the most.
- In order to win the RFP, wind developers will need to submit a rigorous proposal that will be scored in three categories: price, overall viability of the applicant, and equity & inclusion.
- The developer’s equity plan, which must detail how they will create opportunities and invest in underrepresented communities, is given the most weight when scoring each proposal.
- Learn more at rustbelttogreenbelt.com
Advocates for the bill include:
Business Network for Offshore Wind
Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council
Chicago Federation of Labor
Chicago Laborers District Council
Chicago Urban League
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
Climate Jobs Illinois
Faith in Place Action Fund
IBEW Local 134
Illinois People’s Action
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150
Iron Workers Chicago & Vicinity District Council
Mid–America Carpenters Regional Council
Teamsters Joint Council 25
Rep. Evans’ Rust Belt to Green Belt Offshore Wind Initiative Passes Illinois House
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April 3, 2023 at 07:33AM