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Letter to Sen. Peter Fitzgerald In Support of S.1369, The "Clean Energy Act of 1999"

May 22, 2000

The Honorable Peter Fitzgerald
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Fitzgerald:

The electric industry is the largest industrial source of the pollutants that cause smog, soot, acid rain, mercury contamination, and global warming. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee action is scheduled for this week on proposed electricity legislation which will have enormous implications for the environment. The undersigned Illinois organizations urge you to cosponsor and support the Clean Energy Act of 1999 (S. 1369), introduced by Senator James Jeffords of Vermont, or any amendment offered in Committee with the same provisions.

Any electric industry legislation—whether a comprehensive restructuring bill or a "streamlined" reliability bill—will have major environmental consequences. Proposals that depend largely on increasing transmission capacity to enhance reliability, for example, could also potentially increase sales and emissions from the dirtiest power plants. The Clean Energy Act provisions would ensure that reliability is enhanced and electricity costs are reduced in ways that also protect the environment. We urge you to oppose any electricity bill that fails to deal with the environmental consequences of restructuring the nation's most polluting industry, or that pits reliability or cost-cutting against clean and healthy air.

Over 650,000 citizens of Illinois suffer from asthma already, including over 200,000 children. Nationwide, summer smog sends an estimated 53,000 persons to hospital admissions and 159,000 to emergency rooms. Clean energy technologies can not only reduce these impacts, but increase reliability, fuel diversity, employment, and national security, while reducing electricity costs as well. The Clean Energy Act will benefit Illinois by:

National studies show that these provisions are compatible with reducing electricity costs. Thank you for taking the time to carefully consider supporting clean energy as the Energy and Natural Resources Committee takes up this landmark energy legislation. These are critical issues for the state of Illinois and the nation. We look forward to your response, and would welcome the opportunity to discuss these views with you and your staff.


Howard Learner, Director 
Environmental Law & Policy Center 
of the Midwest Chicago
Lynda Delaforgue, Director
Citizen Action Illinois
Diane E. Brown, Director
Illinois Public Interest Research Group
Brian Urbaszewski
Dir. of Environmental Health Programs
American Lung Association 
of Metropolitan Chicago
Lynne Padovan, Executive Director
llinois Environmental Council 
David A. Kraft, Director
Nuclear Energy Information Service
Carol Stark, Director
Citizens Against Ruining Environment 
Brook McDonald, Executive Director
Conservation Foundation
Susan Zingle, Executive Director
Lake County Conservation Alliance
Maureen Headington, Coordinator
Stand Up, Save Lives Campaign
Burr Ridge

CLICK HERE to read the press release NEIS sent out on 
S. 1369,"The Clean Energy Act of 1999"

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