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HomeIllinois NewsRepublican shocks conservatives by signing onto Illinois Leftists' Green New Deal

Republican shocks conservatives by signing onto Illinois Leftists’ Green New Deal



St Rep Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville)

NAPERVILLE – One Republican is convinced a state version of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal is something Illinois should adopt. House Assistant Minority Leader Grant Wehrli of Naperville signed on as Chief Co-sponsor of the Clean Energy Job Act, he announced last week.   

The "ambitious legislation" would "make Illinois the national leader in renewable energy," a press statement says.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act seeks to move Illinois to 100% renewable energy by 2050, a move that represents a substantial increase in renewable energy expectations when compared to the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act of 2016.

The 2016 Act calls for Illinois to move to 25% renewable energy by 2025, and Wehrli admits the new legislation is extremely aggressive.

"The Clean Energy Jobs Act builds upon the Future Energy Jobs Act of 2016 and sets new, higher standards for Illinois' energy usage," said Wehrli. "While 100% renewable energy by 2050 might not be realistic, we need to trend toward that number and commit to being a national leader in renewable energy."

According to Wehrli, the legislation, filed as SB 2132 in the Senate and HB 3624 in the House, was written based on information gathered from a clean energy listening tour, which included 60 meetings across the state. The bills target four primary goals:

  • Ensuring that all 102 Illinois counties benefit from an improved clean energy economy
    • Providing a path toward 100% renewable energy in Illinois by 2050
    • Moving the transportation sector away from gasoline and diesel-powered energy and toward electric-powered cars, mass transit and other transportation sources
    • Ensuring a carbon-free power sector by 2030

These are lofty goals, but they are necessary if we want to protect the air we breathe and the quality of the environment for future generations," said Wehrli. "By embracing clean energy technologies like wind, solar and other renewables, we are taking bold steps to ensure our children and grandchildren enjoy a healthier future."

Upon launching the bills this week, Jen Walling, Executive Director of the Illinois Environmental Council, said she appreciates Wehrli's willingness to ensure bipartisan top line sponsorship of the bill. "Representative Wehrli is a leader in protecting the public health of his constituents, and this legislation will bring jobs and investment to Illinois while protecting the environment," Walling said. "We are so grateful for his support."

Downstate lawmaker State Rep. Blaine Wilhour was not happy with Wehrli's move.
"Fantasy land policies like this are devastating to working class jobs.  CEJA is a notch on a far left political agenda and nothing but a feel good political talking point," he said. 
"If we want to stop being minority party in Illinois we have to become leaders and we must present real ideas. Adopting far left ideas into our rhetoric is and will continue to be a losing strategy for the American worker," Wilhour said.
Wilhour says the so-called Clean Jobs Act will lead to higher energy prices and will leave Illinois residents with less access to reliable sources of energy.
"It is bad for workers,  it is bad for consumers, it is bad for job creation and it is not even realistic," Wilhour said. "It disappoints me that some are willing to sacrifice working class jobs to advance a far left political agenda.  There are ways to move toward clean energy without fleecing consumers and forcing workers (mostly in my district and my part of the state) out of head of household jobs. We need common sense leadership not Democrat talking points." 
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce also criticized the effort:
It’s disingenuous for Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) advocates to claim with any certainty that the decision from federal energy regulators on the operation of a regional electricity market that impacts northern Illinois will significantly raise electricity rates on consumers. That true impact is still unknown and the figures being used today have been refuted. CEJA advocates should stop trying to panic the Legislature and Governor into action. We should not risk electric reliability and unnecessarily increase costs on Illinois consumers before this process plays out and we fully understand the impact on electricity prices and the competitive market.
What we do know is the passage of CEJA would result in significant increases in electricity bills for Illinois residents and businesses. CEJA’s 600-plus pages include a host of unfunded initiatives that lack budgets or cost caps. Not to mention, the bill’s solution to modify how Illinois acquires “capacity” – the issue at the center of calls to pass CEJA – could spike northern Illinois electricity prices by $414 million annually. This is not a choice between seeking lower emissions and keeping costs down. Both are necessary, achievable, and proven through innovation and competition.
More to come on this development … 


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  1. If you need further proof as to why the Republican party in Illinois is in its death throes, you need look no further than this Grant Wehrli clown.
    His brother heads up the dog frisbee tournaments in Illinois. All in all, a more useful member of this old, decrepit Naperville family.

  2. What a pathetic a**hole. I have long predicted the GOP was sinking so low they would not be able to attract good candidates, and the 2016 election cycle proved how right I was. And this idiot is a PERFECT example!
    So long GOP, as one participant in a recent gathering stated: The Republican Party (the elected committeemen and women) has become the biggest collection of political pimps, whores, and sluts ever assembled in one arena!

  3. Not really a surprise that a “Republican” from Naperville, would do such a thing.
    In the past twenty years, Naperville has become infested with Cook County refugees who have moved there to escape Democrat-controlled government there, but have carried their liberal political baggage with them.
    this guy may be one of them, a “Democrat in disguise.”