Here in Illinois we have already seen the tremendous benefits that climate action can have for our health and for our economy. President Obama’s first actions to limit carbon pollution, by requiring cleaner tailpipe emissions from cars, were at the core of the resurgence of the Midwest’s auto industry. Now that we are making and driving cleaner cars that are in demand around the globe, thousands of jobs have returned to Illinois’ auto industry.
Now President Obama is proposing a similar turnaround for the energy sector, and here in Illinois we are already seeing the benefits of moving to a clean energy economy. In recent years, Illinois has added over 20,000 jobs, lowered electric bills, and reduced harmful air pollution by bringing wind and solar power online. President Obama’s climate plan places new value on innovation in the energy sector, and will bring much more of these benefits to Illinois as we move away from the dirty fuels of the past.
By committing to establish new energy efficiency standards for federal buildings and appliances, scale up responsible clean energy production on public lands with an ambitious new goal to power 6 million homes by 2020, and use the full authority of the Clean Air Act to cut dangerous carbon pollution from power plants, the President is stepping up to reduce the climate-disrupting pollution that is destabilizing our climate while threatening our economy and endangering our communities and families with extreme weather and dramatic sea level increases.
Illinois has a lot at stake in the battle against climate disruption. Climate change threatens our health, our agricultural economy, our Great Lakes, and the future we hope to pass on to our children. We’ve worked with President Obama for many years to bring Illinois and America a clean energy future, and we are proud to applaud him for taking a giant step forward toward meeting that goal.