Halpin says clean energy bill deal needed sooner rather than later

4 The Record

Two groups loyal to Democrats are at odds

Illinois state lawmakers are out of session, but there’s a big piece of unfinished business this summer with a lot of consequences at stake.

We’re talking about the Clean Energy Bill.

It’s the goal of Democrats to bring an end to Illinois’ reliance on fossil fuels.

Governor JB Pritzker has a goal to close coal-fired power plants by 2035 and 2045 for natural gas facilities, then reach complete reliance on renewable energy by 2050.

But negotiations stalled this week with key stakeholders at odds.

Exelon filed paperwork to close two of its nuclear plants.

Environmental groups and unions can’t seem to find a compromise on how to phase out the power plants in question.

Union members see their jobs on the line if it happens too fast.

Environmentalists maintain the climate crisis too urgent to wait.

Pressure is growing on Illinois state lawmakers to come up with a clean energy proposal that minimizes alienating some big stakeholders.

As we’ve seen this week, it’s a very delicate issue.

We talk about that big piece of unfinished business with Illinois State Representative Mike Halpin on this week’s 4 The Record.

Halpin shared who’s involved in these negotiations from the government’s side of things and if he’s involved in any way.

Democrats want to pass a bill that would push Illinois to only producing clean energy by the year 2050.

We’ve now seen Exelon file paperwork to close two of its nuclear plants.

Two groups typically loyal to democrats are at odds — environmental advocates and labor unions.

The unions see their current jobs on the line if energy companies close their plants.

Halpin addressed what he thinks it will take to bridge this divide, how important it is to get something done this summer and if it can wait for the veto session, if the pressure from Exelon forces something sooner and what his confidence level is a deal will be reached.

Watch the full conversation in the video above.

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you.  It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.

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