By: Mark Glennon*

A dizzying 93 programs now subsidize green energy programs in Illinois according to a database maintained by the Clean Energy Technology Center in North Carolina.

Yet the Illinois General Assembly is poised to go much further. In January, it will take up a state version of the infamous Green New Deal championed by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The Illinois version is called the Clean Energy Jobs Act, and its central goals are 100 percent carbon-free electricity production by 2030 and 100 percent renewable everything across the state by 2050.

Yellow Vest protesters in Paris

Meanwhile, opposition to indiscriminate spending on costly efforts to cool the planet are expanding worldwide and in other states, even turning violent. The most publicized are by the “Yellow Vests” in France. Though they have other demands, the movement began over scheduled increases in fuel taxes, electricity prices, and stricter vehicle emissions controls.

President Emmanuel Macron claimed those increases were necessary to meet the France’s carbon dioxide emission commitments under the Paris climate agreement. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker committed to adhering to the same agreement, and he prioritized it by including the commitment in his inaugural speech.

France is not alone. American Thinker recently listed others. From their article:

October protests in Chile

•. Chile has seen violent demonstrations. The Washington Post notes that what finally drove the public to take to the streets was the government’s decision to curry favor with international agencies by pushing expensive energy restrictions to fight purported climate change.

As the Post states, “[T]he catalyst [behind the protests] was a proposal to raise public transport fares and energy bills.  There is ample evidence from across the world that these will incite rebellion like nothing else — a point that those who hope to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions via a carbon tax should bear in mind.”

•. In progressive Washington State, voters in 2016 and again in 2018 directly rejected referenda that would have imposed taxes on carbon dioxide to fight climate change.

•. In Ontario in 2018 and in Alberta in 2019, voters replaced their premiers who had supported Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau’s climate policies with global warming skeptics who announced they would rescind provincial carbon taxes and fight Trudeau’s federal carbon dioxide tax in court.

•. Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull was forced to resign over carbon dioxide restrictions he’d planned to implement to meet the country’s Paris climate commitments.  His successor announced that reducing energy prices and improving reliability, not fighting climate change, would be the government’s primary energy goals going forward.

•. In Finland, where climate policies were the dominant issue in the April 14 election, climate skepticism surged, with the Finns Party — the only party rejecting plans to raise energy prices and limit energy use — coming from way behind to win the second highest number of seats in Parliament.

Hardly a week passes in Illinois without another story on dubious subsidies for green energy. Already this week we have three:

  • Crain’s reported how Commonwealth Edison bragged about a $17 million reduction in its delivery rates as requested by the utility. But ComEd didn’t tell the whole story. “Its net rates actually will climb by $33 million next year thanks to a move late last month to boost ComEd’s customer charge by $50 million for the energy-efficiency programs it administers,” Crain’s says.
  • CIProud described how people in low-income houses can get subsidized solar power energy at a fraction of the cost.
  • The Chicago Sun-Times reported on a luxury hotel on La Salle Street getting $21M in city-backed financing to save energy.

Far more is needed in Illinois, we’re told by many lawmakers. With extensive, bipartisan sponsorship, the Clean Energy Jobs Act’s goal of 100% renewable energy precludes even nuclear energy, which currently accounts for about half of Illinois’ electricity production. Tear out your natural gas oven and furnace, junk your gasoline-powered car and lawnmower and prepare to pay obscene energy bills. We’ve written about it before, here and in Crain’s.

What does all this cost? Nobody knows. You will never find any estimate of the consumer and taxpayer burden for either the 93 existing programs or the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Cost be damned. Green = Good.

Consumers and taxpayers elsewhere are waking up – maybe someday in Illinois, too. That American Thinker story had the right conclusion:

The public is tuning out the ever more shrill headlines proclaiming that the end of the world is near due to climate change, saying “enough is enough” to high energy prices that punish the most vulnerable, but do nothing to control the weather.  As the riots and elections show, politicians who ignore this message do so at their own peril.

*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.

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Poor Taxpayer
5 months ago

The Day you move out of Illinois will be the best day of your life.
There is no solution but to move. Run for your economic life.
The quality of life has been destroyed by the greedy cops, teachers and firemen pensions.
They all move to Florida to get away from Illinois, who won’t???

5 months ago

The frenchies are protesting against green deal/sky rocketing energy costs and proposed changes to gov cushie pension/retirement deals at same time

5 months ago

It is a slightly bigger issue, but Mark perfectly points out how it can affect Illinois. In the course of my writing, I put some extra effort in going to the bottom of this climate change hoopla. My final conclusion is that it is propelled by people lending money to our government. The green new deal will cost, optimistically about $10 trillion and realistically closer to $100 trillion, which will generate a few billions per day in interest, paid to people financing it. They are after that few billion per day extra, above of $1 billion they get now. I… Read more »

s and p 500
5 months ago

Actually one group of videos on you-tube did convince me that the world is coming to an end. Check out “Pacifica coastal erosion”. I guess the answer is–don’t buy a house next to the beach.

joe blow
5 months ago

Carbon Dioxide is plant food, we need to be focusing on real pollutants like oil and trash companies dumping garbage in our drinking water other than something that composes 4/10,000 molecules in our atmosphere

If you are reaaaaaaly concerned about Co2, just plant more trees, stop with the socialist power grabs and don’t ruin our cheap energy supply!

Illinois Entrepreneur
5 months ago

In my opinion, Bjorn Lombourg has the best take on “climate change” (Google him; he has a great documentary). His stance is that even if the earth is getting slightly warmer, so what? Has anyone actually determined the optimal temperature of the earth? Have there been any studies on that ideal? The fact is that none of the modeling has come true. None of their models are predictive. Yet, every weather “event” is listed as proof of the ever increasing “crisis.” Your hypothesis is flawed when everything that happens is proof of it. Then you get into the whole data… Read more »

joe blow
5 months ago

tony heller has a great youtube channel debunking all the alarmist garbage and propaganda being used on our kids and in the main stream media, I suggest you check it out and subscribe

5 months ago

Exactly. Archeologists have found evidence of olive presses high in the mountain of Greece where today few trees grows. The olive presses existed up there because olives used to grow high into the mountains in antiquity when the earth was warmer than it is today. Despite what the climate models say. And who says warmer weather isn’t a good thing? Imagine longer growing seasons at higher latitudes and altitudes! There’s so much barren tundra up north, a few degrees warmer and imagine all the winter wheat that could grow in places that today is barren!

5 months ago

Nuclear Gen 4. We’ll never hit any of these green goals without it.

Hank Scorpio
5 months ago
Reply to  nixit

Which gen4 tech specifically? I’ve read alot about LFTR’s but I guess they have a reasonable enough proliferation problem that makes it a non-starter.

Also, I read about some new technology that can use lasers to accelerate the transmutation of existing nuclear waste, effectively cleaning them up instead of being dangerous for thousands of years.

Nuclear definitely seems like the future, but these greenies are who denounce nuclear are total bozos. Also keep your eyes on the ITER project, though that’s a bit of a long shot.

5 months ago

Meanwhile, former president Obama just bought a house in Martha’s Vineyard. The same Martha’s Vineyard that the climate crazies say will be underwater in 10 years. Make of that what you will…

Governor of Alderaan
5 months ago
Reply to  MikeH

Environmental racism!

5 months ago
Reply to  MikeH

O-Bomb-Us (like Gore) uses more Jet A fuel in a month than I have my entire life.
Those who worship these clowns are disgusting.

Mike Williams
5 months ago

Show a liberal a picture of a smoky, hazy city and they will forget about finances and vote for some new law that causes taxes to go up. Show a liberal a picture of a poorly dressed child and they will forget about finances and vote for some new law that causes taxes to go up. Show a liberal a picture of how income is lower than expenses and they aren’t interested.

5 months ago

It will be easy to be a completely carbon-free state by 2050 because nobody will be living in Illinois.