Signature Sponsor
Bill Introduced for Coal Workers Following Clean Energy Bill



By Madeline Parker

January 27, 2022 - Illinois's Energy Transition Act that was signed into law in September says all coal-fired plants have to close by 2035.

State Senator Terri Bryant introduced legislation to help those who would lose their jobs at those plants.

If carbon emissions aren't sequestered, coal plants in Illinois will be shut down.

As part of the Clean Energy Bill, or Energy Transition Act, 13 hubs were created to help train those who would no longer have jobs.

Senator Terri Bryant said these are inconvenient for those in southern Illinois.

"One in East St. Louis, and one at SIU. But we have coal mines and the Lively Grove and Marissa plant at Prairie State, which is not going to be very convenient for them to have to come to SIU or to go over to East St. Louis," said Bryant.

Bryant's bill would offer a solution.

"It allows for two additional hubs. One in Ina, at Rend Lake College and one in Nashville, run by Kaskaskia College. So two additional hubs for southern Illinois, deep southern Illinois," she added.

The bill would also allow spouses of workers to receive training and the training would expand to include broadband services in addition to solar and wind energy.

As many jobs could be wiped in the next decade, Bryant said she wants to make sure there are places for the workers do go next.

"So expanding the ability to move into that industry is good for all of southern Illinois, so of course we want to make that available for those folks," said Bryant.

Bryant said her bill does face some difficulty.

Because of how controversial the first clean energy bill was, she said this bill will have difficulty being called when it's time to vote.