Hundreds call for clean energy

Illinois Capitol News

ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Hundreds came out in the rain to call on the state to come clean.

People traveled near and far to push lawmakers to move legislation they say would protect our environment and bring more jobs to illinois.

Just before the rally ended, Senator Scott Bennett announced a bill he sponsored passed the Senate. He hopes it will protect people in Vermilion County and all around the state.

“With a full gallery of green shirts egging us on, Senate bill 9 passed with almost 40 vote,” Bennett told the rally goers.

Clean Energy advocates are celebrating after the bill designed to regulate and fund safe disposal of coal ash cleared the senate.

“It’s an important bill because it’s going to bring protections from coal ash pollution to communities across the state including the Middle Fork in Vermilion County,” said Andrew Rehn, water resources engineer for Prairie Rivers Network.

That was not their only reason for rallying. Two bills in the capitol dubbed the Clean Energy Jobs Act were promoted by environmental groups, faith leaders and young people who said we need to think about the future of our environment.

“The Clean Energy Jobs Act is so important particularly for Central Illinois because we just started to see a lot of investment and a lot of jobs created in wind a solar power across downstate and particularly in Central Illinois and we want to make those benefits keep coming for generations to come,” Jack Darin, Sierra Club Director of the Illinois chapter.

Those who advocate for the environment all the time say it was refreshing to see so many people support their cause.

“It’s not something you get exposed to a lot especially in low-income communities. A lot of people back in my town, they don’t know a coal plant is there. It’s good to educate the youngsters and know they can have a voice no matter how tiny,” said Guadalupe Bueno, an advocate who traveled from Waukegan.

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