Springfield, IL…Today, State Representative Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) met with state legislators, Illinois energy producers and community leaders to discuss a bipartisan effort to draft legislation that would create a state Low Carbon Portfolio Standard in efforts to reduce carbon emissions with minimal consumer impact.

The legislation has been file in both the Senate as SB 1585 and in the House as HB 3293. As introduced, the legislation would help reduce carbon emissions, increase renewable energy and maintain affordable and reliable electricity for consumers and businesses.

“What we know is that Illinois has a diverse viable energy sector but there are things that we need to be working on to keep it that way,” said Fortner. “We need to make fixes to the renewable portfolio standard which generates jobs but over the past couple years, Illinois has been falling behind its neighboring states.”

This bill is a result of a recent federal mandate, which is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan. This mandate requires that all states reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants. Illinois is tasked with implementing a program that complies with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan by reducing the carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent from reported 2005 levels by the year 2030. The plan must be in place to achieve these reductions by 2017.

“We need to have a plan to comply with the new federal rules for clean air. This will require coordination between renewable energy sources and carbon free sources like nuclear power. I think the bills filled last week and this week are an excellent starting places to move Illinois forward,” said Fortner.
 Springfield, IL…Today, Governor Rauner presented the annual Governor’s State of the State Address, giving his assessment of the state’s current status.

“It was refreshing to hear a real State of the State Address. The Governor made it clear that his priorities were competitiveness, job growth and education. His speech today was geared towards tackling the big issues that have kept Illinois from being its best,” said Fortner. 

“These are priorities that we have pushed for years. I recognize that this was merely a prelude to the proposals Governor Rauner plans to champion and I anxiously await his upcoming budget speech where we can expect to hear more in detail.”