WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, December 9th and Friday, December 10th, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm traveled to Illinois to underscore how the historic climate investments of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda will help lower energy costs, generate good-paying, union jobs and secure a safer and more reliable energy grid for Illinoisans and Americans across the country.
In Champaign, Secretary Granholm toured a number of facilities at the University of Illinois, including Abbott Power Plant, an energy farm, and a bioprocessing research laboratory. In Kankakee, she toured Gar Creek Solar, a community solar project located in a low-income community, and met with union workers powering Illinois' clean energy transition before touring Braidwood Nuclear Generating Station to underscore the role of nuclear energy in meeting Illinois' clean energy goals.
To conclude the trip, Secretary Granholm was joined by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (IL), U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Chair of the House Subcommittee on Energy Bobby Rush (IL-01), U.S. Representative Bill Foster (IL-11), U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06), and U.S. Representative Marie Newman (IL-03) to tour Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory and deliver remarks.
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Granholm also brought a more practical expression of a commitment to Illinois’ future in developing energy and other emerging technologies. She said the recently approved Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will have $21 billion for projects in Illinois to develop next generation technologies.
She also mentioned that the bill provides $16 billion to update the electrical grid; $6 billion to keep existing nuclear facilities alive; and $2.5 billion toward building more electrical charging stations, $149 million of that in Illinois.
“We’re here at the U of I, and they’re so advanced at identifying agricultural inputs to create ‘Energy 2.0’ — whether its miscanthus that they’re growing on the farm adjacent to the university, whether it is ethanol that is produced from sugar cane, we know that the Midwest will provide solutions to cleaning up our transportation system as well as to heating and cooling our homes and industry,” Granholm told reporters Thursday morning.
Granholm toured three campus facilities that are exploring the next generation of sustainable energy.
"The investment here in research and technology will cause the world to come here and use the tools and the equipment that are being developed here," Granholm said. "It will make Illinois a leader."
Granholm was joined by Gov. JB Pritzker and several members of the Illinois congressional delegation. She praised the work done at the lab, which develops advances in the financial and medical industries, as well as weather forecasting.
"The clean energy technologies coming out of all of our labs are critical to us combating the existential threat that Senator Durbin refers to, which is climate change."
WAND (NBC) 17: U.S. Secretary of Energy visits University of Illinois
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm toured the University of Illinois' Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bio-product Innovation.
Granholm said centers like this are vital to creating a clean energy future the Biden Administration is working toward.
"We know that the Midwest will provide solutions to cleaning up our transportation system as well as to heating and cooling our homes and industry," Granholm said. "We don't have to simply put carbon pollution into the air. We know that we can put people to work by next generation processes that also save the planet."
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