State legislators form sustainable fuels caucus 

BY JENNY WHIDDEN [email protected]¬†

Rep. Terra Costa Howard, a Glen Ellyn Democrat, along with five other legislators formed the Sustainable Caucus to address domestic energy supply needs, other policy solutions to air and environmental quality issues and explore alternative energies like ethanol, hydrogen and biodiesel.

Costa Howard, who is also vice chair of the Hydrogen Economy Task Force, said the caucus is an opportunity to educate the public on alternative fuels.Costa Howard’s fellow caucus members are Reps. Eva Dina Delgado, Dave Vella, Ann Williams and Dagmara Avelar and Sen. Patrick Joyce.

“We want the public to be educated about what else is out there. Granted, some of these things are very new. They’re still in a development phase, but we need people to start thinking about them now,” she said. “Twenty years ago, nobody was thinking about an electric vehicle. Now it takes you a year to get one.

Delgado, a Democrat from Chicago, said in a news release that the state has already made strides in green energy by creating a credit for sustainable aviation fuels, supporting local production of biofuels and extending ethanol sales tax incentives.

“We are committed to addressing climate change through a collective effort, and I am eager to work with my colleagues in the caucus to tackle energy and environmental challenges in the next session along with growth in membership to victories in the sustainable fuels space,” Delgado said.

Costa Howard added she hopes to bring her working knowledge from the hydrogen task force to the new caucus. The task force, which was created in 2022 to create a plan to support hydrogen development in Illinois, is set to release a report of its findings this year.

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