Will County state lawmakers praise final passage of energy bill

Legislators argued the bill will reduce carbon emissions and includes nearly $700 million to save jobs at nuclear power plants

The Illinois Senate passed legislation which lawmakers from Will County said will lead to a reduction in carbon emissions, help fight climate change and preserve jobs at nuclear plants.

The long-awaited bill, S.B. 2408, represents the largest investment in renewable energy in the state’s history, according to a news release. The legislation also puts the state on a path to complete clean energy by 2050.

“Today’s historic agreement is the culmination of a difficult, but worthwhile negotiation process where we refused to accept anything less than the best for Illinois’ clean energy future,” State Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Frankfort, said in a statement. “Our work product is one that is renewable, reliable, and affordable for all Illinoisans.”

The bill also includes almost $700 million over five years to subsidize three nuclear plants, saving nearly 28,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to a news release.

“Job preservation and economic viability for often forgotten communities remained a focal point for me throughout this process,” Hastings said. “Not only were we able to preserve these jobs, but we also created the opportunity to train for thousands of new, good-paying jobs in the clean energy sector.”

Both Democrats and Republicans were pushing for the passage of the bill to preserve the jobs at the nuclear plants.

“For over two years, we have spent countless hours fighting to preserve our state’s entire nuclear fleet,” Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, said in a statement.

After passing both chambers in the General Assembly, the legislation awaits Gov. JB Pritzker’s signature to become law.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.