Focused commitment to address climate change is a challenge and an opportunity for the people of Illinois. Failure to make the necessary commitments is an unambiguous danger to our property, our health and safety and quality of life. And it undercuts our ability to build a new, vibrant clean energy economy. The people of Illinois understand this. Polling earlier this year showed people in this state hungering for climate action. The Clean Power Plan presents us with the path to move forward on climate action. And this week, we have seen some really important leadership in making that happen from some of the state's most prominent decision-makers.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that her office was joining with 17 other states to defend the Clean Power Plan against a series of wrong-headed legal challenges intent on preventing the historic effort to cut dangerous carbon pollution. This is exactly the sort of leadership that she promised to deliver and was elected to do--looking out for the best interest and public health of Illinoisans; and protecting policies that will lower power bills and offer needed respite to some of our most vulnerable communities. This is how she summarized her support (via Crain's Chicago Business)
The Clean Power Plan is an important next step toward cleaner, healthier and more affordable energy," Madigan said in a statement. "This plan ensures that states like Illinois can develop our own strategies to reduce carbon pollution while improving our economy.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel got into the act too. He has been a strong advocate for the Illinois Clean Jobs bill, measure pending before the General Assembly that will increase clean energy in the state, build the economy, and presents exactly the kind of the strategy Attorney General Madigan references to combat carbon from day one.
The City's Retrofit Chicago Commercial Building Initiative is an example of how these sorts of policies can strengthen our cities and save money as many of this town's most prominent buildings slash their energy use and relieve pressure on the grid downtown.
And under the Mayor's leadership the City of Chicago is also stepping up in support of the Clean Power Plan in court too.
Illinois and the nation have much to gain from the Clean Power Plan. It is great to see the Attorney General and the Mayor taking leadership to ensure we respond to climate change, secure health benefits and build our economic future.