SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) --Illinois lawmakers are discussing a bill in Springfield that could drive the state's clean energy future. The Next Generation Energy Plan would shift Illinois to a Zero Emission Standard - specifically targeting at-risk nuclear plants. It would require full review of plants' costs by state regulators and by ensuring that only those plants that can demonstrate that revenues are insufficient to cover their costs and operating risk will be entitled to receive compensation. Other key new elements include a near doubling of energy efficiency programs in northern Illinois, $140 million in new funding for solar development, and a new solar rebate to incent solar generation.
The plan is expected to save 4,200 jobs in Illinois, add thousands of new clean energy jobs, and reduce charges on monthly energy bills. So far, the bill has received bi-partisan support in the statehouse. Marty Cohen, a consumer advocate, sat down with ABC 7 Eyewitness News to discuss the bill and how it could help the state.