State Sen. Koehler, others discuss bill that sets up fuel emissions monitoring

California, Oregon and Washington are the only states with clean transportation standards, Koehler said. (Photo courtesy: Dave Dahl/WJBC)


SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Dave Koehler took part in a discussion Friday focused on the bill he proposed that creates a credit marketplace for low-emission fuels that would be run by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency

The Peoria Democrat and others testified to the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee

Senate Bill 1556 would require fuel providers to register and report their emissions. Those that are above the standards would receive credits, those below would be assessed with deficits.

Under the legislation, the IEPA would be authorized to impose penalties on those that fall below the baseline set by the agency. The aim is for the state to meet goals set by the General Assembly in 2021 under the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act

“But that’s what we have to do, is we have to incentivize doing the right thing for the right reasons,” said Koehler during the discussion. 

Matt Hart, executive director of the Illinois Trucking Association, voiced his group’s opposition to the bill. 

Hart said his organization believes the bill would increase the price of fuel and it fails to account for interstate traffic. He said that the trucking industry had reduced emissions by 98 percent over last three decades. 

“Now I wish there was a magic wand that we could wave that would eliminate that final 2 percent of emissions without hurting consumers. Show me that magic wand. And we would love to operate trucks that truly emit no emissions at the same cost,” Hart said. “Unfortunately, that magic wand doesn’t exist.” 

California, Oregon and Washington are the only states with clean transportation standards, Koehler said. 

Tom Van Heeke, a senior policy advisor for Rivian, said the bill falls in line with his company’s objective to create electric vehicles at its manufacturing site in Normal. 

“Well, just to put it simply, the use of electricity as a transportation fuel can be particularly beneficial under a clean transportation standard,” he said by remote video. 

Koehler said the hearing was to refine the bill’s language so it incorporates feedback from stakeholders and advocates. 

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