BissParisPresser06092017In light of President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) joined representatives of the Sierra Club and other Springfield lawmakers today to announce legislation to block weakened environmental and worker protection standards in Illinois.

Biss’ legislation, Senate Bill 2212, would maintain existing environmental and worker safeguards in Illinois, even if they are weakened at the federal level.

President Donald Trump, his administration and leaders in Congress have signaled their intent to roll back federal environmental and labor protections, which in many cases would authorize Illinois to weaken its own standards. Senate Bill 2212 would bar Illinois agencies from following the federal government in lowering standards required by decades of federal statutes like the Clean Air, Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water, Endangered Species, and Federal Labor Standards Acts, among others.

“It’s time for Illinois to set a goal of 100 percent clean energy for our state. Just because the Trump Administration has declared it will lodge its head firmly in the sand and ignore the need for realistic environmental policy doesn’t mean we can’t act,” Biss said. “These efforts put us on track to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement here in Illinois. I hope it serves as an example to other states as Illinois begins to chart a path to a 100 percent clean energy future.”

Jack Darin, director of the Sierra Club Illinois chapter, said Trump is beginning a race to the bottom by dismantling the EPA and rolling back protections for the nation’s air, water and natural resources.

“Illinois does not have to follow Trump backward when it comes to the health and safety of our environment and our workers,” Darin said. “We’re grateful that these leaders are taking steps to ensure our environment is protected and that Illinois steps up to lead on climate change, even as Trump opts out of the global movement to the clean energy economy.”

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