On February 14, I was featured in E&E News’ “A blue state asks: Is carbon capture part of climate agenda?” article to discuss whether Illinois is equipped to begin carbon capture projects as a prong of decarbonization efforts under the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act.
As Chair of the House Energy and Environment Committee, I was given the opportunity to be a part of a study by scientists at the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign which examines available carbon management technologies while also also addressing challenges and concerns by stakeholders and landowners.
While the report concludes that carbon capturing and other technologies could play an integral role in achieving the goals set forth under Illinois’s clean energy plans, I acknowledged Illinois’s current position as not being adequately prepared to take on carbon capture projects without proper protections and oversight measures.
“We’re unprepared, actually, for the fossil fuel industries’ rush to make Illinois kind of a hub for this carbon capture technology right now. We have steps to take to make this a suitable place to utilize the technology in a way that’s responsible. So I think it’s going to require some work on the front end before we can really move forward.”
I also discussed how this is, as with all environmental issues, not isolated to just the fossil fuel industry:
“We need to look at landowner rights, groundwater issues, public health, climate issues, making sure an industry is liable if something goes wrong. We don’t want as a state or local government to absorb all that liability and the risk.”
My work with the House Energy and Environment Committee aims to ensure that green energy initiatives are fair and prioritize our Illinoisan workers and landowners. Thank you to E&E News for speaking with me and exploring avenues that bring Illinois closer to becoming a 100% renewable energy state.
For the full E&E News article, click https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/ceja/Pages/default.aspx