Ingalls Urgent Aid
Energy working groups continue amid new indictment

Energy working groups continue amid new indictment

By GRACE BARBIC
Capitol News Illinois
[email protected]

SPRINGFIELD – Nearly 50 legislators identifying as the Illinois Legislative Green Caucus signed a letter Wednesday asking leadership to make equity and utility accountability the foundation of an energy overhaul bill expected before the General Assembly adjourns May 31.

“For too long, utilities have dictated energy policy in Illinois. It is imperative that this time around, any energy package is driven by climate, communities and consumers,” the letter read.

The letter was sent to Senate President Don Harmon and House Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch on Wednesday, the same day federal prosecutors issued another indictment in an ongoing criminal investigation that heavily involves one of the state’s largest public utilities.

Tim Mapes, former chief of staff for ex-House Speaker Michael Madigan, was indicted for allegedly lying under oath and attempting to obstruct justice. It was the latest twist in an investigation which has already seen utility giant Commonwealth Edison enter into a deferred prosecution agreement in which it admitted to attempting to bribe a high-ranking public official, identified as Madigan, with no-work jobs for his associates.

Former ComEd executives Anne Pramaggiore and John Hooker, as well as former ComEd lobbyist Michael McClain, who is a close Madigan confidant, and consultant Jay Doherty, have also been indicted. Madigan has not been charged and denies wrongdoing.

A major omnibus energy bill could be released at any time with just five days remaining in the legislative session, but it is unclear when.

Rep. Ann Williams, who is the sponsor of the Clean Energy Jobs Act and a signatory on the letter, told Capitol News Illinois on Thursday that an energy working group is continuing its effort to find a compromise, but she is “not sure” when a final package will be released.

The letter soundly rejected any energy bill which would let public utilities call the shots as to what level of subsidy they would receive.

“We will not support a bill which is simply a handout for utilities and does not prioritize climate and equity – we must be forward thinking and lead with these issues. Our constituents and communities will support nothing less,” the caucus members wrote in the letter.

The letter was co-signed by the chief sponsors of Gov. Pritzker’s Consumers and Climate First Act and the Clean Energy Jobs Act, two of the major energy proposals in negotiations. These include Chicago Democrats Rep. Kam Buckner and Sen. Celina Villanueva, as well as Williams and Sen. Cristina Castro, of Elgin, respectively.

A number of stakeholders have introduced legislation to be considered in the larger energy conversation throughout this spring session, including Ameren’s Downstate Clean Energy Affordability Act, Vistra’s ‘Coal to Solar’ plan, the Path to 100 Act which aims to jumpstart the solar industry, and the Climate Union Jobs Act.

A working group made up of lawmakers from both parties and stakeholders for the various plans has been meeting for months to try to draft a compromise plan that is acceptable to all parties.

Many of the energy proposals align in terms of goals, especially Pritzker’s proposal and CEJA, which was initially introduced to the General Assembly in spring 2019 and has been one of the most publicized bills amid ongoing energy negotiations.

Some of the similar goals include CEJA’s creation of clean jobs workforce hubs and energy investments in wind turbines and solar power, as well as electrifying the transportation sector.

The Climate Union Jobs Act includes labor standards for utility-scale projects and other project labor agreements like prevailing wage. The Path to 100 Act would increase the cap on energy bills from about 2 to 4 percent to provide funding for renewable projects, avoiding what its advocates call the “solar cliff.”

Rep. William Davis, a Democrat from Homewood and sponsor of the Path to 100 Act, was not included in the list of legislators that signed the letter. Sen. Michael Hastings, chair of the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee and chief sponsor of the Climate Union Jobs Act, was also not listed on the letter.

The legislators also said in the letter that the final energy bill must eliminate carbon emissions from the electric sector by a certain date and prioritize closures in environmental justice communities, as well ensure equity opportunities across all components of the bill, from workforce diversity to contractor equity to just transition.

The full text of the letter and its signatures can be found here.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Leave a Comment





Local News

A moment after ground was broken and tossed, smiles broke out among dignitaries celebrating PODER’s coming renovation. A computer-generated video offering a glimpse of what the new facility will look like is posted at southwestregionalpublishing.com. --Photo courtesy of Jorge Garza Norrick/JorgeTookYourPicture.com

New life for old city building

New PODER HQ to serve immigrants By Tim Hadac Ceremonial ground was broken on the west end of Gage Park last week to mark the coming renovation of a 94-year-old City of Chicago building and creation what is billed as Chicago’s first immigrant integration and job center. A lineup of political and business muscle…

UBAM President Anita Cummings and 22nd Ward Ald. Michael Rodriguez listen to feedback from UBAM members about the LeClaire redevelopment. --Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Dermot Connolly

UBAM leaders hear LeClaire Courts plan

May break ground in mid-2022 By Dermot Connolly The $400 million redevelopment plans for the former LeClaire Courts public housing site were laid out over lunch at a recent meeting of the United Business Association of Midway. Several dozen business owners and community representatives attended the Nov. 10 event at the Red Barrel restaurant on…

GSWNH SanadFoodDistribution_112621

Sanad feeds the hungry in Chicago Lawn

More than a thousand served By Kathy Headley Have faith. Keep going. It will all work out. That was the advice Fatima Abu Eid, director of Sanad Social Services, gave to her daughter Aber, who runs the Sanad Food Pantry, upon being notified that the Greater Chicago Food Depository would indeed be giving them hundreds…

Chicago Police Department

Robbery crew hits Back of the Yards

From staff reports A cluster of robberies in Back of the Yards has promoted police to issue a community alert. Police said the bandits “approach the victims in or near the alley and demand property. Offenders then would flee in dark colored SUV or a red vehicle.” Crime scenes include: 1700 block of West 49th…

GSWNH_OfficerYanez_112621

Hug for a hero

CPD Officer Carlos Yanez Jr. (dark shirt) receives a welcoming hug from Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President John Catanzara, as Yanez’s family and friends shed tears of joy and applaud. Yanez walked into FOP Lodge 7 headquarters to pay a visit to his union brothers and sisters. Back in August, Yanez was shot…

Ray Stetz, of La Grange, talks with Township of Lyons Assessor Patrick Hynes (right) about possible property tax exemptions. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Township residents talk taxes with elected officials

By Steve Metsch Marek Gil, like many residents, has questions about his property taxes. Plenty of questions. Gil owns two properties, one in Hickory Hills and one in Justice. Asked if his taxes are too high, Gil replied: “Of course.” Gil, who resides in Justice, was among a group of residents who attended the “Coffee…

Summit village officials and employees stand in front of this year's Christmas Tree. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Summit lights village Christmas Tree

By Carol McGowan Nearly 50 people were on hand November 18 as the Village of Summit Christmas tree was lit. It was a true sign of the holidays to come, as the crowd gathered by the tree and sang a Christmas carol while sipping on hot chocolate and coffee. It was one of the first…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau announces his intention to run for the 6th Congressional District. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Pekau joins crowded Republican field in 6th Congressional District

By Jeff Vorva In what could be one of the most interesting and heated congressional races in the state in 2022, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau announced Monday he is planning on running in the new 6th Congressional District. He will be running as a Republican and, so far, will battle energy consultant Niki Conforti in the…

Palos Park's Denise Cowan is one of four citizens to object to the village considering video gaming. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park delays gaming vote again

By Jeff Vorva Someone should send the mayor of Palos Park some Alka-Seltzer. For the third meeting in a row, the Palos Park Village Council did not take any action on bringing gaming machines to town. Mayor John Mahoney and Commissioner Dan Polk are leaning in favor of it to help out the local businesses…

More than 800 runners competed in this year’s Turkey Trot. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Record number of runners come out for 33rd Turkey Trot

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent In 2019, Patrick Foster won the Orland Park Turkey Trot for his first top finish in a competitive race. This year, he was back in the winner’s circle. Foster, an Orland Park native who now lives and works in Madison, Wisconsin, finished the 2 1/2-mile race in 14 minutes, 19.9 seconds…

Neighbors

AladdinsBanquets WebAd
Northwestern Home Team 250x250 1
A moment after ground was broken and tossed, smiles broke out among dignitaries celebrating PODER’s coming renovation. A computer-generated video offering a glimpse of what the new facility will look like is posted at southwestregionalpublishing.com. --Photo courtesy of Jorge Garza Norrick/JorgeTookYourPicture.com

New life for old city building

New PODER HQ to serve immigrants By Tim Hadac Ceremonial ground was broken on the west end of Gage Park last week to mark the coming renovation of a 94-year-old City of Chicago building and creation what is billed as Chicago’s first immigrant integration and job center. A lineup of political and business muscle…

UBAM President Anita Cummings and 22nd Ward Ald. Michael Rodriguez listen to feedback from UBAM members about the LeClaire redevelopment. --Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Dermot Connolly

UBAM leaders hear LeClaire Courts plan

May break ground in mid-2022 By Dermot Connolly The $400 million redevelopment plans for the former LeClaire Courts public housing site were laid out over lunch at a recent meeting of the United Business Association of Midway. Several dozen business owners and community representatives attended the Nov. 10 event at the Red Barrel restaurant on…

GSWNH SanadFoodDistribution_112621

Sanad feeds the hungry in Chicago Lawn

More than a thousand served By Kathy Headley Have faith. Keep going. It will all work out. That was the advice Fatima Abu Eid, director of Sanad Social Services, gave to her daughter Aber, who runs the Sanad Food Pantry, upon being notified that the Greater Chicago Food Depository would indeed be giving them hundreds…

Chicago Police Department

Robbery crew hits Back of the Yards

From staff reports A cluster of robberies in Back of the Yards has promoted police to issue a community alert. Police said the bandits “approach the victims in or near the alley and demand property. Offenders then would flee in dark colored SUV or a red vehicle.” Crime scenes include: 1700 block of West 49th…

GSWNH_OfficerYanez_112621

Hug for a hero

CPD Officer Carlos Yanez Jr. (dark shirt) receives a welcoming hug from Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President John Catanzara, as Yanez’s family and friends shed tears of joy and applaud. Yanez walked into FOP Lodge 7 headquarters to pay a visit to his union brothers and sisters. Back in August, Yanez was shot…

Ray Stetz, of La Grange, talks with Township of Lyons Assessor Patrick Hynes (right) about possible property tax exemptions. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Township residents talk taxes with elected officials

By Steve Metsch Marek Gil, like many residents, has questions about his property taxes. Plenty of questions. Gil owns two properties, one in Hickory Hills and one in Justice. Asked if his taxes are too high, Gil replied: “Of course.” Gil, who resides in Justice, was among a group of residents who attended the “Coffee…

Summit village officials and employees stand in front of this year's Christmas Tree. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Summit lights village Christmas Tree

By Carol McGowan Nearly 50 people were on hand November 18 as the Village of Summit Christmas tree was lit. It was a true sign of the holidays to come, as the crowd gathered by the tree and sang a Christmas carol while sipping on hot chocolate and coffee. It was one of the first…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau announces his intention to run for the 6th Congressional District. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Pekau joins crowded Republican field in 6th Congressional District

By Jeff Vorva In what could be one of the most interesting and heated congressional races in the state in 2022, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau announced Monday he is planning on running in the new 6th Congressional District. He will be running as a Republican and, so far, will battle energy consultant Niki Conforti in the…

Palos Park's Denise Cowan is one of four citizens to object to the village considering video gaming. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Palos Park delays gaming vote again

By Jeff Vorva Someone should send the mayor of Palos Park some Alka-Seltzer. For the third meeting in a row, the Palos Park Village Council did not take any action on bringing gaming machines to town. Mayor John Mahoney and Commissioner Dan Polk are leaning in favor of it to help out the local businesses…

More than 800 runners competed in this year’s Turkey Trot. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Record number of runners come out for 33rd Turkey Trot

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent In 2019, Patrick Foster won the Orland Park Turkey Trot for his first top finish in a competitive race. This year, he was back in the winner’s circle. Foster, an Orland Park native who now lives and works in Madison, Wisconsin, finished the 2 1/2-mile race in 14 minutes, 19.9 seconds…

DVN Jack Pats Butcher Shop House Ad
CRR NH Ptecik Bakery House Ad