CBA Record November-December 2021


Implementation CEJA generally is celebrated as a significant piece of bipartisan legislation that can serve as a national model for other states seeking to transition to renewable energy. Oppo- nents of the legislation, however, have criticized CEJA for favoring Chicago and other communities in Northern Illinois. Detractors argue that divestment of fossil fuels will increase reliance on imported energy and impose a heavy burden on downstate communities to catch up on renewable development. To address these concerns, CEJA incorporates many novel programs to assist communities that will likely experience a disproportionate econo- mic burden as a result of CEJA’s divestment of fossil fuels. For example, CEJA provides

up to $21 million annually for the Clean Jobs Workforce Network Program. That program creates 13 workforce hubs across Illinois that expand access to quality clean energy-related jobs and economic opportu- nities, particularly for economically disad- vantaged communities. CEJA also provides up to $40 million annually to fund Energy Transition Community Grants for commu- nities with closing or closed power plants or coal mines to address economic and social impacts from the energy transition, including replacement property taxes. Several Illinois agencies will administer CEJA, including the Illinois Commerce Commission, the Illinois Power Agency, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and the Illinois Department of

Commerce and Economic Opportunity. These agencies will engage in numerous formal and informal regulatory procee- dings, rulemakings, working groups, and committees, which, ideally, will successfully implement Illinois’ ambitious clean energy goals over the next few decades.

Ashley Parr is an envi- ronmental attorney at Barnes & Thornburg LLP whose practice is focused on water, remediation and rene- wable energy.

Environmental Law Reading Suggestions

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells 2019 Tim Duggan Books (Non-fiction)

The Uninhabitable Earth expands on the discussion in a 2017 New York Magazine article addressing the possibilities for Earth’s future across a spectrum of predicted temperature ranges related to climate change. The book recognizes solutions exist to mitigate the worst of damages but concludes climate change will have catastrophic impacts across multiple spheres, including rising sea levels, extreme heat events, extinctions, disease outbreaks, fires, droughts, and increasing geopolitical conflicts. It was adapted into an anthology series for HBO Max in 2020.

Silent Spring by Rachel Carlson 1962 Houghton Mifflin (Non-fiction)

Silent Spring details the adverse effects caused by indiscriminate use of synthetic pesti- cides and the negative impacts humans have on the natural world. In her book, Carlson accused chemical companies of spreading misinformation about the use of pesticides but also criticized the American public for accepting marketing claims unquestioningly. Often credited with inspiring the environmental movement in the U.S., the book led to the nationwide ban on the use of DDT and creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Naturalist David Attenborough has noted that Silent Spring was prob- ably the book that changed the scientific world the most, after the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.


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