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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26, 2004

QUINN JOINS WITH SEN. WELCH TO PROMOTE ENERGY-EFFICIENCY IN ILLINOIS

LaSalle, IL – Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn joined Senator Patrick Welch to promote Senate Bill 2322, which would require new minimum energy-efficiency standards for certain products sold or installed in Illinois and Senate Bill 2320, which would implement renewable energy sources by public universities.
 
“We can avoid power outages here in Illinois by creating new technology to lower our energy consumption in the everyday products we use and harness homegrown renewable energy sources for use in high traffic areas such as public universities,” said Quinn, whose newly released Energy Task Force report and recommendations advocate these same ideas in order to spread the generation of power among more sources, create jobs in rural areas and decrease air pollution.
 
“Illinois needs to develop its own energy policy since the federal government is not moving forward,” said Sen. Welch.  “We must take up the cause.”
 
Senate Bill 2322, sponsored by Sen. Welch, would provide minimum efficiency standards for certain new products sold or installed in Illinois.  It would require manufacturers to test their products and certify the results to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and also require manufacturers to identify conforming products by means of a mark, label or tag.
 
Senate Bill 2320, also sponsored by Sen. Welch, would amend the Public Utilities Act and set forth legislative findings concerning the funding and implementation of renewable energy sources by public universities. One reason for tuition increases, Quinn noted, is higher operating expenses at universities due to higher energy bills.
 
Quinn noted the recent first anniversary of the August, 2003 blackout that raged across the Northeast and Canada.  As Chairman of the Special Task Force on the Condition and Future of the Illinois Energy Infrastructure, Quinn is leading the charge to implement the Task Force’s 32 recommendations, which include more homegrown renewable energy, enhanced investment in utility employees, and stronger cyber security.
 
“This report is a comprehensive blueprint, yet only the first step to a safe and reliable electric grid in Illinois,” Quinn said. “Now it is up to the General Assembly, state and local government agencies, electric utilities and consumers to move this plan forward by passing bills such as the ones discussed today.”
               
Quinn also invited consumers to visit www.BlackoutSolutions.org, an electronic suggestion box his office set up to accept ideas on cutting Illinois’ energy costs which has garnered 53,235 hits.


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