The Illinois Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA): Evaluation and Recommendations for Successful Implementation
Bill Lane Center for the American West
Applications closed on November 27, 2023
Approximate Offer Date:
Monday, December 11, 2023
The Bill Lane Center is seeking an undergraduate student to contribute up to 10 hrs/week during Winter 2024 on a research project focused on climate and equity in the state of Illinois. This project is advised by Prof. Bruce Cain (Political Science), in collaboration with Marcus von Kapff, a fellow at Stanford’s Distinguished Careers Institute.
Passed in September 2021 with bipartisan support, the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) was devised to move Illinois to 100% carbon-free power by 2045, while addressing the public health and economic equity challenges brought to light by the Covid-19 pandemic. The multi-faceted bill emphasizes the creation of good-paying clean energy jobs, encouraging electric vehicle adoption, and supporting disadvantaged communities through the expansion of energy focused programs. CEJA also creates new workforce development initiatives and enhances utility rules and ethics reforms.
Local objections to wind and solar installations have hindered roll-out, jeopardizing the goal of 50% renewable energy
A lag in training and workforce programs has delayed the implementation of renewable energy projects and new job creation
Nuclear today is a significant part of the energy mix (58%) and will likely need to be part of the long-term strategy
Illinois will need to mitigate the loss of jobs and tax revenue from fossil fuel installations and coal mining
In the wake of ethics scandals, the perception of the IOUs as good faith partners has been called into question
As a part-time undergraduate student researcher, you will contribute in the following ways, with a focus on key topics that you and your mentors will identify:
Summarize the key components of CEJA, including overview of costs and key transition milestones
Identify and diagnose components of the legislation that are off-track and/or most likely to be difficult to implement
Benchmark biggest challenges against successes/failures in other states, with an emphasis on learnings from California
Develop insights and high-level recommendations that can be shared with state officials and policy advocacy groups in Illinois
You will be mentored in this project by Marcus von Kapff, a fellow at Stanford’s Distinguished Careers Institute focusing on sustainability and democratic development, and formerly the CFO of commercial banking at JP Morgan Chase. You will also receive mentoring from the Bill Lane Center’s faculty director, Prof. Bruce Cain (Political Science). The Center’s research manager will offer additional support as needed.
Eligibility and Requirements:
For this project, we are seeking an undergraduate student who brings an:
Interest in the intersection of energy policy, economic development, and social equity
Ability to synthesize large volumes of descriptive and analytic content
Willingness to reach out to data sources and industry experts in the process of understanding key issues and testing hypotheses
Strong written communication skills
Commitment and duration
This is a part-time, 10 hr/week research opportunity during the winter quarter 2023, with the possibility to continue in spring 2023.