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hastings 012920CANTON – Unveiling a new proposal that would transform the renewable resource landscape in downstate Illinois, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) joined colleagues and stakeholders at an Energy Summit in Canton today.

Hastings, who chairs the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee, called for a plan that would create job opportunities for people displaced by plant closures while transitioning several downstate communities to an increased role in generating renewable energy.

“Working class families and communities have relied on these plants for generations,” Hastings said. “With more potential plant closures looming, we have to find a way to preserve jobs, transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy resources and maintain an economic base within the communities.”

Under Hastings’ proposal, a program would be established to provide incentives for the installation and operation of renewable energy resources at the sites of former coal plants, helping the surrounding communities remain economically viable.

“Our state’s residents want clean energy resources, but we cannot take action without thinking about the future of energy across Illinois. We are a national leader in energy generation, and we must continue to provide job opportunities for people who work at coal plants and assist them during the transition to solar energy.” Hastings said. “I look forward to continue working with our community stakeholders, my colleagues, and the renewable energy community to make that happen.”

These proposals will likely be a piece of a larger package of energy legislation that could be taken up as early as the fall veto session.