US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm tours Fermilab to highlight clean energy programs

BATAVIA, Ill. (WLS) -- Illinois is in the spotlight for clean energy programs to help battle climate change.

Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm toured Fermilab in the west suburbs Friday, getting a look at a quantum computing lab as part of her visit.

"The investment here in research and technology will cause the world to come here and use the tools and the equipment that are being developed here," Granholm said. "It will make Illinois a leader."

Granholm was joined by Gov. JB Pritzker and several members of the Illinois congressional delegation. She praised the work done at the lab, which develops advances in the financial and medical industries, as well as weather forecasting.

"There's so much happening here," she said. "The clean energy technologies coming out of all of our labs are critical to us combating the existential threat that Senator Durbin refers to, which is climate change."

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Fermilab is the final stop on the secretary's two-day visit to Illinois. While she highlighted clean energy, she was also promoting the Biden administration's infrastructure investment plans.

The infrastructure bill is enabling huge investments in Illinois, including $149 million for electric vehicle charging stations, $11 billion for roads and bridges, $4 billion for public transportation and $100 million for broadband expansion.

Pritzker said Illinois is "shovel ready" to use those federal funds for major projects.

"We've been planning with our infrastructure bill that we passed in 2019," Pritzker said. "And what this allows us to do is to not only use those federal dollars to accelerate what we've been planning, but also to extend that so much of what we do."

This was Granholm's first trip to Illinois as secretary. It was part of a series of visits to highlight projects around the county that are making a positive impact on the environment.
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