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Pritzker transition unveils Powering Illinois’ Future Committee

Monday, Nov 26, 2018

* Press release…

Today, Governor-elect JB Pritzker and Lieutenant Governor-elect Juliana Stratton announced the formation and members of the transition’s Powering Illinois’ Future Committee.

The committee is the sixth of several working groups of the transition made up of subject-matter experts who will advise and guide the incoming Pritzker-Stratton administration. The Powering Illinois’ Future Committee will be chaired by Illinois Environmental Council Executive Director Jennifer Walling, Exelon Utilities CEO Anne Pramaggiore, and IBEW Local 51 Business Manager John Johnson and consist of 30 members.

“Investing in infrastructure will be a top priority in our administration,” said Lieutenant Governor-elect Juliana Stratton. “We must identify opportunities to invest in a clean energy economy, and this committee will bring both advocacy and industry stakeholders together to put our state on a path toward mutually agreed upon projects that move us toward a clean energy economy.”

“IEC and our advocacy partners know our environment will be protected under the incoming Pritzker-Stratton administration, and we’re excited to work on this committee to make investing in clean water infrastructure and expanding energy efficiency efforts a top priority in Illinois,” said Illinois Environmental Council Executive Director Jennifer Walling.

“Under Governor-elect Pritzker’s vision, Illinois is poised to assume a leadership role in our country’s clean energy future. Making this transformation in our energy sector is critical to our economy and to quality of life in our state. I am enthusiastic about the ability of the diverse group of stakeholders convened by our new Governor to generate ideas that add real value to Illinois,” said Exelon Utilities CEO Anne Pramaggiore.

“This committee will be the first step in making sure the labor movement is an integral part of moving Illinois to a clean energy economy and reinforces JB and Juliana’s commitment to putting Springfield back on the side of working families,” said IBEW Local 51 Business Manager John Johnson.

POWERING ILLINOIS’ FUTURE COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Jennifer Walling co-chairs the transition’s Powering Illinois’ Future Committee and is the executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council. IEC represents over 80 environmental organizations on policy issues. Walling has been involved with the negotiation and passage of many major environmental initiatives including the Future Energy Jobs Act, Lead in Drinking Water Prevention Act, Illinois’ ban on microbeads in personal care products, funding for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, recreation liability protection for landowners, numerous bills on recycling and composting, and many other statewide policies.

Anne Pramaggiore co-chairs the transition’s Powering Illinois’ Future Committee and is the CEO of Exelon Utilities. In that role, she oversees and manages the six utilities that make up the portfolio of Exelon Utilities, including ComEd. Pramaggiore served as CEO of Commonwealth Edison for over six years and, during that time, oversaw the company’s smart grid modernization program as set forth under the 2011 Illinois Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act. This legislation and ComEd’s work has earned Illinois national recognition for having one of the most advanced power systems in the country (Gridwise Alliance Modernization Index) and has placed ComEd among the leaders in the industry for reliability (EEI Index). Also, she oversaw the company’s efforts under the 2016 Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act, which further modernizes the power system, creating a pathway for 3000 MW of solar power and some of the largest and most impactful energy efficiency programs in the country. She joined Commonwealth Edison in 1998 (from McDermott, Will and Emery) as a lawyer and worked on the company’s efforts to restructure the electric industry under Illinois’ Customer Choice Act. Pramaggiore also served as Commonwealth Edison COO and President from 2009 to 2012.

John Johnson co-chairs the transition’s Powering Illinois’ Future Committee and is the business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 51. Johnson has worked in the Illinois energy field for over 42 years. He was first employed by Illinois Power at its Baldwin Power Station in downstate Randolph County. In 1994, he was appointed as a Business Representative for IBEW Local 51 later becoming the Assistant Business Manager. Johnson has represented nearly 3,500 Illinois workers primarily employed in the public utility industry in downstate Illinois. He has represented employees working for electric and gas utilities; nuclear, coal, and natural gas generating operators; rural electric cooperatives; contractors constructing electric distribution, electric transmission and renewable energy facilities; and telecommunication employers. While working for Local 51, he has participated in various legislative and regulatory efforts, most recently with the Future Energy Jobs Act. Johnson was appointed by organized labor to the Midwest Governors Greenhouse Gas Accord working group.

Steve Andersson, State Representative, Illinois General Assembly

Andrew Barbeau, President, The Accelerate Group

Dick Breckenridge, Illinois Regional Program Manager, BlueGreen Alliance

Jon Carson, CEO, Trajectory Energy Partners

Jim Connolly, Business Manager, LIUNA Chicago Laborers’ District Council

Jack Darin, Executive Director, Sierra Club Illinois Chapter

Naomi Davis, Founder, Blacks in Green

Joseph Dominguez, CEO, ComEd

Robyn Gabel, State Representative, Illinois General Assembly

Jacky Grimshaw, Vice President of Government Affairs, Center for Neighborhood Technology

Carol Hays, Executive Director, Prairie Rivers Network

Ronnie Huff, Union Representative, Union Mine Workers of America

Paul Kearns, Lab Director, US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory

Dave Koehler, State Senator, Illinois General Assembly

Howard Learner, President and Executive Director, Environmental Law and Policy Center

Richard Mark, CEO, Ameren Illinois

Iris Martinez, State Senator, General Assembly

Charles Matthews, CEO, Peoples Gas

Michael Polsky, Founder and CEO, Invenergy

Susan Satter, Public Utilities Counsel, Office of the Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan

Debra Shore, Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Jim Sweeney, President-Business Manager, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150

Rick Tervin, Jr., Legislative and Political Director, Illinois Pipe Trades Association

Mary Vandevord, President and CEO, HeartLands Conservancy

Kim Wasserman-Nieto, Executive Director, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

Ann Williams, State Representative, Illinois General Assembly

Melvin Williams, President, Nicor Gas

That’s not a bad combination of business, labor, greens and legislators with experience getting things done. The people running this transition are impressing me. But transition committees are usually just window dressing. We’ll have to wait and see if the actual governing has this balanced approach.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

27 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 4:31 pm:

    ===But transition committees are usually just window dressing.===

    True. But if he can get all of these people in the same room together and come up with 4-5 broad areas of focus, mission accomplished. They aren’t as much for solving problems as they are in helping identify problems, and even sometimes that’s difficult.

    But yeah, it’s an impressive list.


  2. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 4:57 pm:

    Actually, it lacks any representation of the folks that pay the bills - especially the large industrial energy users.


  3. - A Jack - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 5:12 pm:

    Perhaps Illinois can become the “Silicon Valley” for green technology. There is certainly some potential for job growth in that area. Even if you don’t trust the science behind global warming, eventually fossil fuels will run out and alternatives will have to be found.


  4. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 5:15 pm:

    ==Actually, it lacks any representation of the folks that pay the bills - especially the large industrial energy users.==

    I bet Argonne National Laboratory is a large energy user.


  5. - 44th - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 5:20 pm:

    Big Biz and Big Union and Big Gov.. can only lead to Big Taxes


  6. - SSL - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 5:41 pm:

    He can’t really do much until he gets in, so all of this is a nice way to build and maintain momentum from the campaign. The committees are a bit large and unwieldy, but get points for being inclusive.

    It is going to be very expensive to do half of what is being talked about. He’ll either have to pick a few priorities or be willing to tax anything and everything. Meaning an increase in the current flat tax and such things as retirement income.

    Will be interesting to watch.


  7. - Anon221 - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 5:49 pm:

    To those on this committee, especially the environmental groups- be aware of the land rush in wind and solar. Since there are no real state statutes on setbacks for property owners or environmentally sensitive areas, wildlife and wild lands are landing in the footprints of some of these industrial complexes- especially wind. Listen to residents in those areas that are facing poorly drafted or no ordinances at the county level. DeKalb County is an example of a county that has learned from their recent past and listened to their residents concerns. We can have industrial sized wind and solar, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of people, widlands, and wildlife. http://www.peoriapublicradio.org/post/dekalb-county-approves-tough-wind-ordinance

    And, while they are at it, the committee could do some studies on promoting energy efficiency and the possible green jobs that could come out of that by rehabbing old homes. There is probably a greater overall long term impact for Illinois in this than in industrial scale wind and solar. An opportunity to create job training, create new entrepreneurial businesses, and free up more energy for export out of Illinois.


  8. - Huh? - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 5:50 pm:

    Will wait for the transition team for transportation.


  9. - Proud Sucker - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 6:25 pm:

    Nice nod to Andersson. He loves tackling meaty issues. I keep telling him he’s an engineer in lawyer’s clothes.


  10. - Aur Beck - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 6:36 pm:

    As a union solar installer I’m happy to see a lot of good people on this committee


  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 7:08 pm:

    ===Steve Andersson, State Representative, Illinois General Assembly===

    Representative,

    Glad you are in the transition.

    This gives me hope. Good on all sides.

    OW


  12. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 7:28 pm:

    A little surprised Don Harmon is not on the list, but a good representation of members. Jen Walling is the logical chair.


  13. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 8:37 pm:

    –Big Biz and Big Union and Big Gov.. can only lead to Big Taxes–

    Big Biz likes Big Taxes, do they?

    If you ever care to get beyond the cranky petulant tantrum stage of public discourse, you’ll realize how stupid that comment is.

    Then, pick up some annual reports of Big Illinois Biz and check out what they pay in state and local taxes.

    Then, laugh yourself silly.

    Here’s hoping that the gov-elect won’t be trash-talking the state all the time, to feed his sad little ego.


  14. - Anonymous - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 8:58 pm:

    “Since there are no real state statutes on setbacks for property owners or environmentally sensitive areas, wildlife and wild lands are landing in the footprints of some of these industrial complexes- especially wind.”

    Wind turbines kill protected species like bats, owls, eagles, hawks, ducks, and geese. These companies are moving into depressed areas like coal mining companies during the depression, destroying farmland, and buying off townships and county boards with tax dollars.


  15. - Observer - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 9:20 pm:

    This must be part of Gabel’s going away gift - word
    is she is retiring shortly after inauguration.


  16. - justacitizen - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 9:27 pm:

    JB knows his fundraising multiplication well based on his committees/appointments so far-lol.


  17. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Nov 26, 18 @ 10:30 pm:

    ===These companies are moving into depressed areas like coal mining companies during the depression, destroying farmland, and buying off townships and county boards with tax dollars.===

    And we’re loving every dollar of it. It sure doesn’t destroy farmland. It’s only made it more valuable. Yeah, turbines not good for the birds. Guess what? I’ve seen more eagles, bats and geese since the windmills went up. At least we aren’t spraying the DDT anymore. There comes a point when you are so darned environmental, it doesn’t make sense anymore. You can do the same thing with solar. Renewable energy, right? Solar panels are made almost completely from non-renewable materials. Should we not be using them? No, we should strive to be entirely solar, wind, ethanol, biodiesel, geothermal, hydroelectric etc as we can. There isn’t just one magic solution that is completely consequence free. There are a lot of options, and we should be exploring them all. /rant


  18. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 4:47 am:

    Ducky LaMoore- Agree that there should be a mix, but why has the current conversation been nearly totally devoid of any energy conservation measures? How much actual energy inefficiencies do we have in private and public spaces already? How much could be saved if we invested in solving those issues, especially in lower income areas? It seems to me that working in that “grid” would result in megawatts, too, just as much as some of these proposed industrial sized complexes in rural areas.


  19. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 6:04 am:

    And the one option we fail to use any more is nuclear.


  20. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 6:43 am:

    I think Geothermal technology is promising especially for our cold climate, and if we built new buildings with it, it wouldn’t be so costly or use up resources or kill bats.


  21. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 6:54 am:

    The problem with nuclear power is it is heavily subsidized. To some extent all energy sources are subsidized, but nuclear power takes the most. For example, Illinois bailed out Excelon recently because their nuclear plants can’t make a profit. It is just economically inefficient.
    And if something goes wrong, like Fukushima, who pays for the clean up?

    https://www.taxpayer.net/energy-natural-resources/nuclear-power-subsidies/


  22. - A Jack - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 8:42 am:

    Wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes kill considerably more protected species than wind turbines. So there’s that.


  23. - NoGifts - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 8:44 am:

    anon 221- per capita use of electricity has declined since 2010. 7% in households, and 3% in industry. That’s with the economic recovery. We’re working on both ends. https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=32212


  24. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 9:06 am:

    “, destroying farmland, and buying off townships and county boards with tax dollars.” In other words, exactly like every strip mall built ever.


  25. - Two Rivers - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 9:11 am:

    Anything to read into that there’s no one from CUB or ICC?


  26. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Nov 27, 18 @ 9:20 am:

    NoGifts- There is still a lot of potential for good paying jobs in energy efficiency and small scale renewables, in addition to the additional energy savings those changes could generate. Think of the training programs for construction, plumbing, HVAC, etc.- jobs that we need right now anyway, and jobs that community colleges could help promote. If we put as much money and effort into this for the general public as we do with subsidies to the industrial scale renewables (many of which build, sell, and move on- usually to a foreign entity) maybe we won’t need as many turbines per square mile- for instance. Improving storage capacities of renewable generation at both the industrial and residential/business levels should also be pursued. Again, smaller overall footprints of industrial scaled wind and solar would be needed. Right now, these large scale entities want to be as close as possible to interconnections such as PJM and MISO. And this is resulting in trying to place as many acres as possible into either a large scale solar installation or turbine after turbine after turbine. We need to slow down just a bit and do more sane sitings, rather than trying to pit county against county, community against community, and neighbor against neighbor in this modern day land rush.


  27. - V ohm - Monday, Dec 10, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    All storm water retention areas throughout the state that are currently sod should be converted to rain gardens. The benefits are many, particularly in helping filter water to the water table.


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