SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to reduce carbon emissions in Illinois, State Senator Dave Koehler lead a discussion Friday during a subject matter hearing in the Energy and Public Utilities Committee on his measure that would create a credit system to incentivize the use of low-emission fuels. 

“It’s time we take action to protect our environment,” said Koehler (D-Peoria). “This measure would allow Illinois to lead the charge to promote sustainable fuels that create a cleaner future for our state.”

Senate Bill 1556 would create a credit marketplace for low-emission fuels overseen by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Fuel providers would be required to register their fuels with the program and report their average emissions to the IEPA. Fuels emitting below the established baseline will generate credits, while those exceeding the baseline will generate deficits. To ensure compliance, the IEPA will have the authority to impose penalties on deficit generators failing to offset their deficits by purchasing or generating credits. Additionally, the legislation aims to meet goals set forth in the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act passed by the General Assembly in 2021.

Illinois agriculture would supply the feedstock for many of the lower-carbon fuels made available in Illinois. The IEPA is authorized to consult with the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Department of Transportation in the implementation of the program’s rules.

Currently, California, Oregon and Washington are the only states with clean transportation standards. If passed, Senate Bill 1556 would be the first of its kind in the Midwest.

“We owe it to future generations to safeguard our environment today,” said Koehler. “This is a monumental step forward in our efforts to combat climate change, positioning Illinois as a trailblazer in the global movement toward environmental sustainability.”

The work on Senate Bill 1556 is ongoing as conversations continue, to achieve a final product that incorporates feedback from stakeholders and advocates.