Madigan hails Illinois clean energy law

Chris Rizo Jan. 13, 2009, 1:22am

Lisa Madigan (D)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Legal Newsline)-Clean energy legislation signed into Illinois law Monday was hailed by state Attorney General Lisa Madigan who said the new law will protect the environment and bring more green jobs to the Land of Lincoln.

The new law, outlined in Senate Bill 1987, authorizes the development of two clean coal-burning projects in Illinois. One of the facilities, a 500-megawatt plant near Taylorville, will produce electricity and the other, in Jefferson County, will produce natural gas.

Both plants would use in-state coal and are required to capture and sequester at least half of their carbon dioxide emissions.

The plan was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The bill was drafted and negotiated by Madigan's office during the 2008 legislative session.

"We are creating change right here in Illinois and this new clean energy law will have a major impact on how we approach our future energy needs while protecting the environment and stimulating our economy," the attorney general said.

Madigan, a former state senator, said the new coal facilities would create approximately 4,000 new jobs, including 3,000 construction jobs, 200 permanent coal mining jobs, and 500 to 1,000 permanent jobs operating the two facilities.

"The new law will create jobs at Illinois clean coal and renewable energy facilities and in the coal industry," Madigan added.

The legislation was backed by, among others, the Illinois AFL-CIO, the American Lung Association of Illinois, the Citizens Utility Board, the Clean Air Task Force, Commonwealth Edison Company, the Environmental Law and Policy Center and the Illinois Coal Association.

"We brought together this remarkable coalition of consumer advocates, labor organizations, the coal industry, environmental groups, utilities and green energy developers," Madigan said. "We worked together on behalf of all Illinoisans to reach this victory."

The new law also doubles the state's commitment to the use of renewable energy by requiring alternative retail electric suppliers and utilities that sell outside of their service territories to generate at least 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

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