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Sierra Club to gather in Alton to discuss ‘clean jobs’ bill

From Illinois Business Journal news services

ALTON — A meeting Wednesday night will discuss an upcoming rally to support “clean jobs” legislation pending in Springfield.

The Sierra Club will hold the meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. at Bug Muddy Pub, 204 State St. in Alton.

“Here in Illinois, the energy landscape is changing while the economic and health impacts of dirty fossil fuels continue to grow,” Elizabeth Scrafford, Sierra Club organizer, said in a letter of invitation to the event. “Areas like Madison County, are in need of clean energy sources and clean jobs. Groups like Unions of Concerned Scientists and Physicians for Social Responsibility say carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants is dangerous for our families, and especially for children and seniors, because it makes smog pollution worse, triggers asthma attacks, and increases the rate of heart disease, respiratory ailments and even cancer.”

The Sierra Club is joining the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition to call on legislators to support House Bill 2607 and Senate Bill 1485.

“The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill will help our state accomplish these goals while creating 32,000 jobs annually in our state,” Scrafford said. “The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill contains solutions to ensure that no Illinois community is left behind as we shift to a clean energy economy.”

The social gathering on Wednesday will discuss the bill’s particulars and the rally planned for April 22 in Springfield, an Earth Day-related gathering to push legislators to stand for clean energy jobs.

According to a 2011 state report, more than a million Illinoisans have been diagnosed with asthma — almost 15 percent of the state. The American Lung Association found more than 6.7 million Illinoisans breathe unhealthy air.

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