Pritzker’s energy bill seeks clean energy and escapes the pay-to-play policy
Governor JB Pritzker is set to unveil his own sweeping climate and energy legislation on Thursday, ending formula rates and online payment fees as the state moves towards 100% clean energy d ‘by 2050 and moves away from the’ old consumer payments policy ‘of the past. ”
The Consumer and Climate Act first deals with ethics and consumer protection as well as renewable energy and clean energy. He also seeks to explain how the state plans to help those who lose their jobs as Illinois moves away from non-renewable energy sources.
Pritzker’s bill would end formula tariffs, a practice whereby utility companies would be able to “spend taxpayer dollars with little oversight, meaning ComEd and Ameren will no longer be in. able to dramatically increase their profits by charging the rate base with little cost control ”according to an invoice summary.
The legislation would also expand the EOI that lawmakers must file to include any spouse or immediate family member who is employed by an Illinois public service and subject the Citizens Utility Board to Freedom of Information Act and would prohibit a board of directors from accepting funds from foundations affiliated with a public service, according to the summary of the bill.
Deputy Governor Christian Mitchell said Pritzker believes “this is the right bill at the right time”.
It comes about nine months after a bombshell in federal court that implicated Illinois House of Commons Speaker Mike Madigan as a key figure in a broad corruption scheme described in the federal charges against ComEd.
Madigan has not been charged with any felony and denies any wrongdoing, but the power company scandal bypassed the Democrat’s long political career on the Southwest Side.
“I think as a result of a deferred prosecution agreement that trapped our largest public service … that having a law that leads to ethics ends the old pay-for-play policy of the past, invests in renewable energy in a way that puts fairness and good labor standards at the forefront ”sends the signal that the state“ is going to be a great place to do business, ”Mitchell said.
The bill is the latest to tackle the state’s energy sector, joining the Clean Energy Jobs Bill – which also calls on the state to use 100% renewable energy by 2050 and urges companies to make the transition to do so – and the “Path to Bill 100,” which aims to create jobs within the state’s renewable energy industry.
Mitchell said the governor’s plan includes pieces of those proposals, as well as recommendations from lawmakers. He said the plan now is to work “cooperatively and collaboratively” with the Legislature on energy bills.
Pritzker’s legislation also aims to help energy consumers and includes the elimination of online payment fees for all utility bills and would eliminate the customer deposit requirement and late fees for utility customers. low-income residential audiences. Those with incomes less than or equal to 80% of their regional median income could benefit from tiered discount rates on their utility bills.
The legislation also looks to the future, seeking to put the state on the path to 100% clean energy by 2050. It also involves a phasing out of coal by 2030 and natural gas by 2045, according to the summary. Along with this push, Pritzker’s legislation aims to increase the state’s adoption of electric vehicles to 1 million by 2030.
The governor’s bill would create a misplaced “workers’ bill of rights” to support energy workers as the state shifts to renewables.
Last July, ComEd was indicted in federal court in an alleged bribery scheme that prosecutors say sent Madigan associates $ 1.3 million for doing little or no work for the public service, while ComEd hoped to gain the support of the once-powerful speaker for legislation in Springfield of greater value. of $ 150 million.
Mitchell said the scandal showed the “shady practices of our utility companies in terms of operating in Springfield,” a realization that crept into the Legislature and prompted the governor and his team to create a bill “that would help restore taxpayer confidence.” “
Mitchell said the bill seeks to “end the behind-the-scenes deals that have led to a place where Commonwealth Edison is increasing its profits at the expense of consumer bills and doing so in such a way as to send it to federal court.”
“We’re investing in the kinds of things, like electric vehicles, that will create good, clean, well-paying jobs, including for people of color in the state of Illinois, in a way that will help ensure that we have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, ”said Mitchell.