Wehrli Signs On as Chief Co-Sponsor of Clean Energy Jobs Act

State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) has signed on as a Chief Co-Sponsor of ambitious legislation that would make Illinois the national leader in renewable energy. The Clean Energy Jobs Act seeks to move Illinois to 100% renewable energy by 2050, a move that represents a substantial increase in renewable energy expectations when compared to the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act of 2016.

The 2016 Act calls for Illinois to move to 25% renewable energy by 2025, and Wehrli admits the new legislation is extremely aggressive. “The Clean Energy Jobs Act builds upon the Future Energy Jobs Act of 2016 and sets new, higher standards for Illinois’ energy usage,” said Wehrli. “While 100% renewable energy by 2050 might not be realistic, we need to trend toward that number and commit to being a national leader in renewable energy.”

According to Wehrli, the legislation, filed as SB 2132 in the Senate and HB 3624 in the House, was written based on information gathered from a clean energy listening tour, which included 60 meetings across the state. The bills target four primary goals:

  • Ensuring that all 102 Illinois counties benefit from an improved clean energy economy
  • Providing a path toward 100% renewable energy in Illinois by 2050
  • Moving the transportation sector away from gasoline and diesel-powered energy and toward electric-powered cars, mass transit and other transportation sources
  • Ensuring a carbon-free power sector by 2030

“These are lofty goals, but they are necessary if we want to protect the air we breathe and the quality of the environment for future generations,” said Wehrli. “By embracing clean energy technologies like wind, solar and other renewables, we are taking bold steps to ensure our children and grandchildren enjoy a healthier future.”

Upon launching the bills this week, Jen Walling, Executive Director of the Illinois Environmental Council, said she appreciates Wehrli’s willingness to ensure bipartisan top line sponsorship of the bill. “Representative Wehrli is a leader in protecting the public health of his constituents, and this legislation will bring jobs and investment to Illinois while protecting the environment,” Walling said. “We are so grateful for his support.”