As Trump Threatens Environmental Protections, These 3 Republican Governors Invest In Clean Energy

By Dick Munson, Forbes. 

Earlier this month, the U.S. inaugurated a new president who has vowed to abandon the landmark Paris climate agreement and roll back bedrock American environmental protections.

But turn to the states and you’ll find a different story, even in the red states that elected President Trump. In fact, Republican governors in the Midwest are prioritizing economic growth and job creation by accelerating investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. In the few weeks after the election, leaders in Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan have adopted new policies that help tackle climate change and grow the clean energy economy.

Illinois

With passage of the Future Energy Jobs Bill, Illinois sent an important signal to the rest of the nation: We can create policies that grow the economy, save customers money, and protect the planet.

Supported by a Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, and a Democratic legislature, the law will lead to $12-15 billion in additional private-sector investment coming to Illinois and create tens of thousands of new jobs. The bill includes provisions for doubling the size of the state’s energy efficiency portfolio, which will lower customers’ electricity bills, and building 4,300 megawatts of new wind and solar generation by 2030.

These advances put Illinois on track to achieve a nearly 56-percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions from the power sector, well beyond what the Clean Power Plan – the nation’s first-ever limit on carbon pollution from power plants – would require. Gov. Rauner said the legislation “allows us to protect jobs, ratepayers, and taxpayers.”

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