(The Center Square) – Energy prices in Illinois are increasing and Republican lawmakers are blaming the governor’s energy policies.
This week, Ameren Illinois said its costs have increased due to the state’s switch toward renewable energy.
In 2021, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation that intends to make Illinois a state that uses only renewable energy by 2050.
“With economic growth and jobs woven into its fabric, this new law is the most significant step Illinois has taken in a generation toward a reliable, renewable, affordable and clean energy future in a generation,” Pritzker said when signing the bill.
Since then, energy prices have increased and energy companies and lawmakers say the switch has led to it.
The Illinois Freedom Caucus, made up of various House Republicans, held a news conference Wednesday in Springfield and said Pritzker’s policies are to blame.
“It is just another attack on the middle class and seniors on fixed incomes,” said state Rep. Chris Miller, R-Oakland. “Electric bills have been exploding under Governor Pritzker’s radical agenda to destroy Illinois.”
State Rep. Blaine Wilhour, R-Beecher City, said these increases are also hurting businesses in Illinois.
“The Kincaid food market in Kincaid, Illinois are closing their doors for good,” Wilhour said. “They are closing because of the actions taken right here in this General Assembly on energy policy.”
Illinois households paid an average monthly electric bill of $125 in 2022, according to Save On Energy, a total increase of 23.4% compared to 2021. Wilhour said the cost will continue to increase unless the legislature acts.
“The Illinois New Green Deal needs to go and we need to negotiate a policy that puts people back to work, with an all of the above strategy using all of our God-given natural resources that we have abundant in the state of Illinois,” Wilhour said.
Miller raised concerns about switching away from more reliable energy sources.
“Without a return to domestic coal, oil and natural gas production, our energy bills will continue to spike,” Miller said. “We will face even more frequent blackouts and brownouts.”
Pritzker’s energy plan hopes to move toward 100% renewable energy by 2050.