The Health Benefits of the Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act

On December 7, 2016, Illinois’ first-term Republican governor Bruce Rauner signed the Future Energy Jobs Act. This law will drive growth in new renewable energy generation and increase energy efficiency savings while retaining generation from existing nuclear units that are financially vulnerable. While nuclear energy does not represent a clean energy resource, this report focuses solely on the air pollution released by fossil fuel plants that directly harm human health.

Encouraging growth for renewable energy and energy efficiency—critical, cost-effective, pollution-cutting resources—leads to a range of improved human health outcomes. In fact, between 2018 and 2030, the Future Energy Jobs Act would help cumulatively avoid 132,960 lost work days, 17,890 asthma attacks, 1,100 asthma-related emergency room visits, 780 hospital admissions, 1,650 heart attacks, and up to 2,800 premature deaths.