Dear Governor Pritzker,
I am writing to urge you to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act SB2132/HB3624 this spring. I am a teacher and childrens’ librarian and I believe we must act or our state and world will not be a healthy and livable place for our children.
Given indisputable scientific evidence that climate change is occurring and is driven by carbon emissions from human actions, we need a rapid transition to renewable energy. The Future Energy Jobs Act has already put Illinois on the path to a robust renewable energy sector. We need the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) so that the work we started with FEJA doesn’t go to waste. CEJA puts Illinois on the path to a 100% renewable energy sector by 2050.
The Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) will not only support Illinois’ transition to renewable energy but it will help make it a just transition. Climate change is already forcing our state and the world to change. It is up to us to choose whether the impacts will continue to cause most suffering for poor and marginalized people or whether we embrace this as an opportunity to bring more equity to our communities. CEJA would help us bring equity by supporting job training, creating renewable energy jobs, and allocating resources to the communities where there is the greatest need.
Currently, the transportation sector is the number one contributor to carbon emissions. CEJA would support community-led plans to create more renewable transportation in their communities. By doing this, CEJA would also help reduce congestion and air pollution which would improve communities’ quality of life. As a resident of Urbana, Illinois, a town with an already well developed bike and public transportation system, I know that my quality of life is vastly improved by this infrastructure and every additional bike trail, bus route, and vehicle sharing program helps increase my options for healthy, connected living.
I taught a unit with my students about climate change and it was the first time that many of them had a chance to ask about it. Their questions were honest and frank, such as: “Will we all die?” There is reason to be afraid. There is an indisputable scientific consensus that climate change is occurring now, is of unparalleled destructive potential, and is driven by carbon emissions resulting from human actions. The Clean Energy Jobs Act gives me hope that we can chart a way forward and that our state can be a leader.
I thank you for your consideration and I count on your advocacy to pass the Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act.