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Illinois lawmakers pass a groundbreaking green energy package that aims to eliminate carbon by 2050. This is how they plan to do it.

The Illinois Senate passed a major green-energy package that includes keeping Exelon nuclear plants open and setting the state on a carbon-free course by 2050. 

The bill introduces new emission standards across the state’s fossil fuel sectors and encourages the use of renewables, such as wind and solar power. 

According to WBEZ, supporters see the initiative as a pace-setting attempt at tackling the catastrophic effects of global warming. 

“Our goal all along was to enact reliable renewable and affordable energy policies that put Illinois in a position as the nation’s leader. That’s exactly what we’re doing here today. The lasting importance of this legislation is that we will forever have redefined our energy future.”

Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, one of the bill’s sponsors

While a few Senate Republicans voted in favor, Republicans voted largely against the package, expressing uncertainty over how much it will cost consumers.

Here are the most significant changes:

Municipal coal and natural gas plants must find a way to completely eliminate carbon emissions by 2045 or close down.

The state is to use 100% clean energy by 2050.

The state is to authorize $694 million in financial aid for carbon-free Exelon nuclear plants to keep them online. 

Customers in the Chicago area are to receive $4,000 rebates if they buy an electric car.

Every one of us can make small steps in averting climate change. We walk and cycle more, use less single-use plastics, and adopt habits that save energy.

These efforts mean much more if they are supported by the government — in this case of the state of Illinois. 

Let’s hope the neighboring states take action as well and start working on similar earth-friendly legislation.

Nikola, an electrical engineer, simplifies intricate sustainability subjects for his audience. A staunch environmental conservationist, he embodies his beliefs daily through recycling and cultivating his own food.

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