By Kevin Bessler
(The Center Square) – Windmills currently dominate the landscape across many parts of Illinois, but now you may see them from the shores of Lake Michigan.
Senate Bill 193 is moving through the General Assembly and would create offshore wind.
“In order to do wind energy, you have to have a plan, so this lays out a pilot to start the process of developing wind energy not just on land but also our waters,” said State Rep. Marcus Evans, D-Chicago, the bill’s chief sponsor.
Proponents say it will create thousands of clean energy jobs and put Illinois one step closer to meeting goals set out in the Climate & Equitable Jobs Act. Those jobs would be offered to underserved residents.
The language in the bill states: “Provides that the Fund shall be used by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to encourage and facilitate the employment of construction workforces located in underrepresented populations.”
The legislation has received support from the Chicago Federation of Labor, the Chicago Urban League, and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.
The Pentagon sounded alarms over the Biden Administration’s plans for offshore wind projects along the Atlantic coast due to conflicts with military operations. The concerns, which come on top of other conflicts identified by the U.S. Coast Guard, have made renewable power developers and East Coast states jittery as they try to meet clean energy and climate goals.
There is a Coast Guard station in the Chicago area, but Evans said he is not aware of any concerns.
Kevin Bessler reports on statewide issues in Illinois for the Center Square. He has over 30 years of experience in radio news reporting throughout the Midwest.
Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.
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