Durbin, Duckworth Meet with Illinois Municipal Electric and Utilities Association

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today met with members of the Illinois Municipal Electric/Utilities Association (IMEA/IMUA) to discuss public utilities in Illinois and grid security. During their conversation, the Senators and IMEA/IMUA members spoke about the unprecedented shortage of distribution transformers, which are an essential component of electrical infrastructure that adjust the voltage of currents moving through electrical wires.  This shortage has resulted in the delay of clean energy projects and diminished the United States’ ability to efficiently implement funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) or upgrade the electric grid to support Illinois’ position as a trailblazer in clean energy and electric vehicle technologies.

The Senators also discussed the importance of providing non-profit utilities with access to the clean energy tax credits created by the Inflation Reduction Act.

“The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act delivered a much-needed jolt to our economy after the pandemic, but now we are struggling to implement that funding to upgrade our grid due to transformer shortages,” said Durbin. “Senator Duckworth and I spoke with IMEA/IMUA members this afternoon about how to address this critical shortage, as well as how the federal government can prime Illinois forclean energy projects that benefit our economy, consumers, transit systems, and planet for the long-haul.”

“I enjoyed meeting with local officials and IMEA and IMUA President Gaden today to discuss federal support for strengthening our state’s supply chains and grid security, as well as the important role clean energy has in protecting our environment and the public health of communities across the state,” Duckworth said. “When all levels of government and stakeholders work together to prioritize renewable energy, we can also help catalyze job growth and secure Illinois’ leadership in the energy sector for years to come.”

A photo of the meeting is available here.