The major new clean energy programs signed into law today by Governor Blagojevich are two major steps forward toward a cleaner, safer, and more affordable energy future for Illinois. After decades of dealing with the pollution and cost of relying solely on dirty coal and nuclear power, Illinois is now a national leader in promoting clean, renewable energy, and in helping consumer and businesses cut their electric bills by using less power.
The new requirement that 25% of Illinois’ electricity will come from renewable sources by the year 2025 will create new jobs in a pollution-free power industry. At the same time, utilities, the State of Illinois, and local governments will begin major new programs to reduce existing power use. By 2015, these programs are to cut existing power use 2% below today's levels. These conservation programs will deliver savings each and every month as our homes and businesses use less power. They will also create high-paying jobs in a clean, new energy economy.
By using less power overall, and by getting more and more of it from pollution-free sources like wind, Illinois is also taking two big steps to reducing our contribution to global warming. Scientists tell us that we need to reduce pollution by 80% to solve global warming, and that energy efficiency and renewable energy are the two most effective strategies for reaching these goals.
Historically, Illinois has lagged behind in implementing smart energy policies. Today, we move from the back of the pack to the head of the class in implementing smart energy policies for the future. This is one area where our leaders have agreed on major changes that are the right choices for Illiniosans today, and for our future.