Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation protecting Illinois-based clean energy projects from a growing number of local bans. HB4412 prevents counties from enacting preemptive local ordinances that outright ban local wind and solar projects, hindering the state’s new climate goals set forth in the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA). The bill passed during the Illinois General Assembly’s lame duck legislative session, and Gov. Pritzker signed it into law on Friday, Jan. 27.
“We’ve seen an uptick in radical misinformation campaigns taking root here in Illinois that aim to obstruct the progress we have made in CEJA by banning local wind and solar clean energy projects,” said Jen Walling, executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council. “Thanks to Gov. Pritzker signing this bill into law, our state can continue plugging away at the implementation of CEJA without having to play whack-a-mole every time fossil fuel interests introduce an ordinance intended to delay our clean energy future.”
With the enactment of HB4412, the state has removed overburdensome local wind and solar siting regulations while prioritizing protections for endangered species and natural areas and encouraging conservation practices at utility-scale clean energy sites.
“I was proud to cast my vote for CEJA, and I’m proud to have brought forward legislative solutions like HB4412 to ensure that Illinois remains on track to meet our climate, jobs and justice goals secured in our nation-leading climate bill,” said State Rep. Robyn Gabel.
Over a dozen local bans have passed in Illinois counties to date. HB4412 not only prevents future bans but now takes precedence over current bans, clearing the way for rapid clean energy development across the state, helping Illinois meet its climate goals, and helping communities address potential capacity shortfalls.
“Illinoisans expect the General Assembly to anticipate problems and generate policy solutions that ensure the best outcomes for our communities, and HB4412 is a prime example of that work,” said Sen. Bill Cunningham. “With this legislation, we’re bringing clean energy jobs and opportunities to people across Illinois.”
News item from the Illinois Environmental Council
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