“I believe in science. To that end, as one of my first acts as Governor, Illinois will become a member of the U.S. Climate Alliance, upholding the goals and ideals of the Paris Climate Accord.”
– J.B. Pritzker

Governor Pritzker got a big round of applause for that line from his Inaugural Address audience on Monday.

But how many of those clapping know what the alliance is? Some, I suspect, but not many.

How many know what it will cost or even care? None, I’m confident, and that’s a story repeated often.

The U.S. Climate Alliance is a coalition of 17 governors “committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.” Specifically, they say that means supporting policies to “reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26-28 percent below 2005 levels.” California Governor Jerry Brown formed it when President Trump announced withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement was nonbinding and it was widely agreed that the world had come nowhere near to meeting its emission goals, so many nations last month signed off on further rules to try to revive it.

A number of Illinois officeholders and lawmakers earlier encouraged Governor Rauner to join the alliance, though he declined.

But good luck finding anything whatsoever from those supporters or anybody else on how much it will cost Illinois to meet alliance goals. I can find nothing.

We’ve seen this often before. If it’s green, do it. Cost be damned. That’s what happened with the Illinois’ Clean Jobs Bill passed in 2015. We asked and asked for supporters and the Rauner Administration to produce any estimates of cost. Nothing. If it has something to do with climate, blank checks are fine. Illinois has dozens of green energy programs with unknown price tags. They’re listed at the bottom of our earlier article.

Maybe the new alliance isn’t a big deal, or maybe it is. Maybe the new alliance is just talk, or maybe Pritzker will take it seriously. But is it too much for somebody to tell us what it will cost?

It’s usually progressives giving out the blank checks on climate matters (though Governor Rauner signed the Clean Jobs Bill). They’re supposedly for the little guys, but energy costs are horribly regressive. It’s the poor and working class who really feel it when their gasoline and utility bills don’t reflect the best alternative available.

What you think of global warming shouldn’t matter. If you support efforts to reduce carbon emissions, you should want to get the most bang for the buck on those efforts. That means you must get comparative costs.

Maybe this goes beyond climate with Pritzker — maybe he thinks we needn’t worry about the cost of other things he does. That attitude sure seemed apparent in his Tuesday announcement that step pay increases would be paid for state workers, though he won’t disclose the cost. As we wrote earlier, he  either signed a blank check not knowing the cost, or he knows the cost and is hiding it. (But we found it — about $200 million per year.)

–Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Hasn’t this fat POS heard of yellow vests?

1 year ago

I suspect it would be unconstitutional as well as states can’t really get involved with foriegn treaties, only the Feds can do that.

S. Dogood
1 year ago

The environmentalists usually vote Democratic, do they not? Will they vote for higher gasoline taxes to curb greenhouse gas emissions? Will Fred Klonsky stop flying to Brooklyn and Italy? Will Al Gore take the train to his next lecture, or fly commercial?

I doubt that democracies can solve or even ameliorate the climate problem (or the gun problem, for that matter OR the pension problem). Data shows that Generation Z leans left and one has to wonder how far ahead they are looking. The oft-kicked can is likely to show up before too many more years go by.

1 year ago

JB might be the last governor of Illinois before it goes into federal receivership.

Illinois Entrepreneur
1 year ago

Mark, they’ll never care for your “extreme right-wing views.” Pritzker is unleashing the gates of nonexistent money even earlier than everyone thought. But we all knew that he would give AFSCME everything that Rauner held out on for four years–all for naught. Now, he’s giving money away to every left-wing, socialist and progressive cause out there. I firmly believe that Pritzker is a coward, and that he is afraid of being called any type of deplorable name for not kowtowing to any particular progressive effort. He’s already rich, and what he wants is LEGACY. He wants to be known as… Read more »

1 year ago

JB is trying to be the second billionaire president. Illinois can crash and burn but he could very well make it to the Oval Office based on the voters in the “Taker Nation” we now live in.

1 year ago

Another firm of lining their pocket, THEY ARE ALL CROOKS!! OMG IL IS THE NEXT DETROIT, WAKE UP PEOPLE