Casten, Underwood, Northern Illinois Facility Tour with White House Official
U.S. Representatives Sean Casten, D-Downers Grove, and Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, accompanied White House Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy on a visit to several science facilities in northern Illinois on Tuesday. . The tour included stops at Fermilab in Batavia, North Central College in Naperville, and the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont.
The timing of the tour closely followed the August 9 release of a report compiled and presented by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) detailing a grim tale that it is increasingly urgent. to fight against climate change and that the window to turn the tide the damage is diminishing.
McCarthy said the need to act on climate change is more pressing than ever, especially given the release of the IPCC report.
“The reason it’s different today than it was before is the last time I worked in administration, I argued with climate change deniers,” McCarthy said. “I don’t do that anymore; I do not need it. People understand that the world has changed. Like it or not, they can see it, and they can smell it, and they can taste it. But more importantly, we now have solutions which, if we deploy them on a large scale, will provide huge opportunities for extra time, while great places like Fermilab and Argonne and our other innovation centers can really develop the next generation. “
Take-away meals from the Tour
Underwood said a common message echoed clearly time and time again during his tour of the facilities: the importance of climate, energy and jobs.
“We are facing a climate change crisis right now, but also historic opportunities,” Underwood said. “The opportunity to create millions of good jobs, American jobs that will also improve the health of our planet. The opportunity to consolidate Illinois’ role as a world leader in clean energy, cutting-edge scientific research and the fight against climate change.
His remarks referred to the infrastructure bill passed yesterday by the Senate awaiting consideration in the House. It helps provide financing to enable job creation in the renewable energy sector and to embark on clean energy projects.
Casten said he had gained a lot by touring the facility and seeing first-hand how the potential investments would benefit northern Illinois communities going forward.
“We are a district that will benefit tremendously from the transition to a clean economy,” he said. “We have some really highly educated people who understand these issues. We have two world-renowned national laboratories that do both basic science and the deployment of technologies that aspire to advance this.
The event also featured a panel discussion with climate experts and environmental and sustainability leaders, such as Tom Skilling from WGN, Kady McFadden from Sierra Club, Gerry Donnelley from Morton Arboretum, Stacey Paradis from Midwest Energy. Efficiency Alliance, Shashank Shane of Invenergy, Mike Heinz of Downers Grove North High School, Barry Matchett of Clearway Energy and JC Kibbey of the National Resources Defense Council.
Naperville News 17 Megann Horstead reports.
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