villivalam villanueva 050124 2SPRINGFIELD - State Senators Ram Villivalam and Celina Villanueva lead discussions about achieving clean and equitable transportation, buildings and an electric grid at a press conference Tuesday.

“Sustainable transportation must be made a priority in Illinois,” said Villivalam (D-Chicago) “It supports livable, walkable communities, enables equitable and affordable access to essential goods and services, underpins a vibrant economy, and improves public health.”

The Senators are working on a package of measures to target reaching clean and equitable transportation, buildings and an electric grid that will in turn benefit Illinoisans by providing greater access to affordable, reliable and clean resources.

The Clean and Equitable Transportation Act targets reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Illinois, as transportation is reported as the largest contributor. The three-part approach will include targets established at reducing sector-wide emissions to be 100% carbon free from 2025, implementation of long overdue transit funding, service, and governance reforms to establish a unified regional agency that will deliver safe, reliable, and frequent transit system, and efforts to increase the viability and reliability of zero-emission vehicles, moving public fleets to zero emissions, while increasing the buildout of charging infrastructure.

“We need to provide equitable access for our residents to get to their school, jobs, hospitals, and other critical services, all of which fuel our local economy,” said Villivalam. “We will support accessible and affordable mobility to lift up working and middle class families. At the same time, we will create and support more jobs in the transportation sector.”

There will be additional efforts made through the Clean and Healthy Buildings Act to target reducing the usage of methane gas in home and business appliances that continually and regularly raise bills for Illinoisans, as well as, continues to prove to be hazardous for health.

This measure would require gas utilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to reach zero by 2050, by setting a clean heat standard for the state. Additionally, it would require the Illinois Commerce Commission to map out the most affordable strategies to reach such standard and continue making affordable ratemaking decision for consumers. Lastly, it will update gas energy efficiency standards to help consumers lower their gas bills.

“One of the top reasons why residents reach out to my office is because they are looking for help to pay costly utility bills. While the prices alone may be alarming, it also puts children and the most vulnerable people at risk,” said Villanueva (D- Chicago). “We must reduce pollution in our buildings and begin transitioning to additional clean, affordable energy solutions. The Clean and Healthy Buildings Act is a great start to ensure a successful transition.”

Villivalam and Villanueva will work diligently to pass measures to enhance clean energy statewide.